Friday, June 3, 2022

Padfield on Stakeholder Capitalism's Viewpoint Diversity Problem

I just posted Does Stakeholder Capitalism Have a (Viewpoint) Diversity Problem?, U. Puerto Rico Bus. L.J. (forthcoming) on SSRN (here).  The abstract:

Does stakeholder capitalism have a viewpoint diversity problem? What follows constitutes an initial inquiry into that issue.

Following the Introduction, Part II provides an overview of the Free Enterprise Project’s (FEP’s) 2021 Investor Value Voter Guide, which focuses at least in part on both stakeholder capitalism and viewpoint diversity in a way that provides a good introduction to a perceived tension between the two. This part of the essay contains three sub-parts. Sub-parts A and B provide at least some support for connecting stakeholder capitalism (in all its forms) to partisanship as well as a lack of relevant viewpoint diversity. Sub-part C then unpacks specific proposals that the FEP is submitting and/or recommends supporting/opposing. This sub-part is further broken down into brief overviews of the FEP’s viewpoint diversity and stakeholder capitalism proposals.

Part III shifts attention to related research and commentary. This part includes four sub-parts (A-D). Sub-part A addresses the issue of stakeholder capitalism as greenwashing. Sub-part B addresses some of the possible problems caused by a lack of viewpoint diversity in stakeholder capitalism, including increasing societal divisions. Sub-part C then addresses the related issue of whether stakeholder capitalism is a partisan movement. Sub-part D proceeds to delve into some of the potential costs of stakeholder capitalism, including political backlash, increased litigation, loss of competitive advantage in the marketplace, and even potentially providing an on-ramp for some type of totalitarianism. Part IV provides concluding remarks.

Stefan J. Padfield | Permalink


The last decade or more I have had great concerns about increasing Balkanization of institutions and markets. A week or so ago, I came across a survey of the loss of "family friendly" goodwill and "slippage" of these products based on that survey. Never thought I'd see the diversion from "quality, reliability, utility, durability and price" of goods or services to impinging on the product's success by companies and tradenames taking anything other than simply a "patriotic" public position. I suspect the Balkanization will continue.

Posted by: Tom N. | Jun 5, 2022 5:46:17 PM

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