Question for Ed Freeman

I found Freeman’s talk to be incredibly interesting because he explained why companies need to create value for its stakeholders. He surprised me, however when he stated multiple times that he is in favor of capitalism. I found this intriguing since Michael Johnson-Cramer’s introduction mentioned how Freeman’s quasi-Marxist past made him a figure of contention. My question for Freeman would be: How do companies more toward stakeholder theory without disrupting its current business and upsetting shareholders? A company’s decision to prioritize shareholders or stakeholders is rooted in a company’s mission statement and fundamental strategy. To change the fundamental strategy of a firm could have detrimental effects to the firm. During his speech, Ed stated that Walmart is doing some great things in the realm of corporate social responsibility, and that by having its own social responsibility division, it can allocate more resources towards it stakeholders. I would enjoy hearing Ed expand is theories more on specific companies.


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