Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

Reader 1

Paul Hurley

Terms of Use & License Information

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Rights Information

© 2013 Daniel Shane


We seem to hold corporations to an impossible standard. We call for profit maximization, but at the same time want to place strict limits on the methods corporations may use to obtain them. In this thesis, I explore two popular theories of the corporation: stakeholder theory and shareholder theory. I examine the degree to which each theory explains the corporation as it exists today, as defined in the law and through its behavior, but also the theories‘ normative appeal. I conclude by positing what I find to be the best normative account of the corporation: a theory of how we should structure the corporation in the United States so it is the most morally-defensible.