in: Oxford scholarship online
Contemporary discussions of the corporation tend to fall into one of two camps. The side that dominates much of public discourse is those who conceive of the corporation as purely economic. According to this view, corporations are "nexuses of contracts" that have no greater duties than to maximize profits for their shareholders and that should be given legal and political deference to do so. On the other side are those who conceive of the corporation in almost entirely political terms. In this view, corporations are created by government and exercise powers and privileges that are conceded to it by the state; governments have a responsibility to organize and constrain corporations such that they act for the benefit of society as a whole. This text offers a third way that sees the corporation as being both economic and political.