Advanced

Luften är fri - En undersökning av relationen mellan aktiebolagets vinstsyfte och övriga intressenthänsyn

Schlyter, Mathilda LU (2017) LAGF03 20172
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Aktiebolaget är en mycket framgångsrik företagsform för storskaliga och riskfyllda projekt. En egenskap som anses betydelsefull för denna egenskap är aktiebolagets vinstsyfte. Idag finns aktiebolag som ekonomiskt och i fråga om politiskt inflytane kan mäta sig med stater. Detta innebär att de kan ha stor påveran exempelvis på människors tillgång till mänskliga rättigheter. I denna kontext uppmanas idag företag att ta ansvar utöver vad lagen kräver genom så kallat CSR-arbete (Corporate Social Responsibility) Den här uppsatsen undersöker vinstsyftets inverkan på företagens möjlighet att ta hänsyn till andra så kallade intressentgrupper som påverkas av verksamheten och den svenska lagstiftarens inställning till detta.
... (More)
Aktiebolaget är en mycket framgångsrik företagsform för storskaliga och riskfyllda projekt. En egenskap som anses betydelsefull för denna egenskap är aktiebolagets vinstsyfte. Idag finns aktiebolag som ekonomiskt och i fråga om politiskt inflytane kan mäta sig med stater. Detta innebär att de kan ha stor påveran exempelvis på människors tillgång till mänskliga rättigheter. I denna kontext uppmanas idag företag att ta ansvar utöver vad lagen kräver genom så kallat CSR-arbete (Corporate Social Responsibility) Den här uppsatsen undersöker vinstsyftets inverkan på företagens möjlighet att ta hänsyn till andra så kallade intressentgrupper som påverkas av verksamheten och den svenska lagstiftarens inställning till detta.
Aktiebolagslagstiftningen är, sedan en rad företagsskandaler främst inom finanssektorn, påverkad av så kallad bolagstyrningsforskning som ägnar sig åt att undersöka hur ett bolag bäst styrs för att inte drabbas av kriser, till exempel på grund av en operativ ledning som berikar sig själv på företagets bekostnad eller har en annan riskbenägenhet än ägarkollektivet. Denna forsknings resultat tenderar att rekommendera stärkt aktieägarstyrning, det vill säga, att aktieägarna i större utsträckning ska kunna kontrollera ledningsorganens agerande och att dessa organ ska ha starkare incitament att agera i aktieägarnas bästa intresse. Det finns dock andra inriktningar inom bolagsstyrningsforskningen som hävdar att bolagen bör ta hänsyn till och främja andra intressentgrupper. Transaktionskostnadsteori och principal-agentteori styrker bilden av att starkt ägarstyrning är nödvändig för att investering i aktiebolag ska vara attraktiv. Detta innebär att bolaget måste drivas med ägarnas intresse som handlingsnorm. Detta intresse operationaliseras till ekonomisk vinst för aktieägaren. Inom bolagsstyrningsforskningen figurerar även teorier som går ut på att bolaget ska sträva efter att gynna andra grupper som påverkas av bolaget, såsom arbetstagare, samhällen eller miljön. Argumenten för dessa teorier kan vara normativa men även gå ut på tanken att ett företag måste ha goda relationer med övriga intressenter för att kunna vara lönsamt på lång sikt. Inom ramarna för denna typ av bolagsstyrning kan företagen ägna sig åt CSR.
Aktiebolagets vinstsyfte rättfärdigas ofta genom argumentet att ett värdeskapande näringsliv bidrar till samhällsnyttan och att vinstsyftet är nödvändigt för att företaget ska vara ekonomiskt framgångsrikt. Genom externalitetsteorin kan det dock påvisas hur även en ekonomiskt framgångsrik verksamhet kan vålla en samhällsskada när inte resurserna som utnyttjas i verksamheten betalas till sitt rätta pris eller med andra ord, när någon som lider en skada av verksamheten inte blir kompenserad för sin skada. När sådan kompensation inte kan komma till stånd genom marknadsmekanismer på grund av transaktionskostnader kan lagstiftning vara den mest rationella lösningen.
Den svenska lagstiftaren har i utformandet av aktiebolagslagen haft ett tydligt mål att stärka ägarstyrningen i aktiebolagen. Genom utformandet av så kallade företag med särskild vinstutelningsbegränsning framgår att lagstiftaren är medveten om att vinstsyftet kan medföra en risk för att bolaget försöker göra vinst på bekostnad av en intressentgrupp, till exempel patienter om företaget skulle vara ett vinstdrivande sjukhus.
Uppsatsen finner att det är svårt för företagen att utföra CSR-arbete i en utsträckning som innebär att riskerna för till exempel människors tillgång till mänskliga rättigheter inte äventyras om dessa inte har ett marknadsvärde och att det därför krävs lagstiftning som hindrar detta. Uppsatsen finner även att den svenska lagstiftaren är medveten om detta förhållande. (Less)
Abstract
The limited liability company is a form of business associaton that has advantages that makes it attractive for large and risky business entreprises. One characteristic that is viewed as importand for this quality is that the business purpose is increased shareholder value. Today, limited liability companies exists that rival nation states on scale and political impact. As a consequence they can also exert influence over e.g. people’s access to human rights. Because of this, business corporations are called on to take responsibility to a larger extent than what is demanded by law. This is called CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). This essay examines the business purpose’s impact on the possibility for the companies to consider the well... (More)
The limited liability company is a form of business associaton that has advantages that makes it attractive for large and risky business entreprises. One characteristic that is viewed as importand for this quality is that the business purpose is increased shareholder value. Today, limited liability companies exists that rival nation states on scale and political impact. As a consequence they can also exert influence over e.g. people’s access to human rights. Because of this, business corporations are called on to take responsibility to a larger extent than what is demanded by law. This is called CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). This essay examines the business purpose’s impact on the possibility for the companies to consider the well being of other so called stakeholder groups that could be negatively affected by the actions of the corporations and what the Swedish legislature’s apprehension is in this regard.
Corporate law is, due to a number of business scandals mainly in the financial sector, influenced by research in corporate governance, which concerns itself with analyzing how a company best is governed to avoid crisis due to e. g. operational managements with a self-serving agenda or a risk propensity not in accord with the shareholders’. The result of this research tends to ordinate increased control over the company for the shareholders, that is, that the shareholders’ possibilities to control the actions of the board of directors are enhanced and that the directors and executive chiefs should have stronger incentives to act on behalf of the shareholders’ interests. There are however other orientations within the field of corporate governance that claim that the companies should consider and promote other stakeholders.
Transactional cost theory and agent theory reinforce the image of the fact that strong ownership management is necessary for investment in limited companies to be attractive. This means that the company must be driven by the owners' interest as an action standard. This interest is operationalized to financial profit for the shareholder. Within corporate governance research, there are also theories that the company aims to promote other groups affected by the company, such as workers, communities or the environment. The arguments found in these theories are sometimes normative but can also relate to the perception that a company must have good relationships with other stakeholders in order to be profitable in the long run. Within the framework of this type of corporate governance strategy, companies can engage in CSR.
The profit objective is often justified by the argument that a value-creating business community contributes to the benefit of society and that profitability is necessary for the company to be economically successful. However, through the theory of externality, it can be demonstrated how even a financially successful activity can cause social damage when not the resources used in the business are paid at its right price or in other words, when someone who suffers a damage due to the business is not compensated for their injury. When such compensation can not be achieved through market mechanisms due to transaction costs, legislation can be the most rational solution.
In the design of the Swedish Companies Act, the Swedish legislature has had a clear goal to strengthen ownership management in the limited liability companies. The design of so-called companies with a special profit distribution restriction shows that the legislator is aware that the profit objective can imply a risk that the company tries to make a profit at the expense of a stakeholder group, for example, patients if the company would be a profit-making hospital.
The findings of this essay is that it is difficult for companies to carry out CSR work to an extent that risks such as human access to human rights are not compromised if these do not have a market value. Legislation is therefore required to prevent this. The essay also finds that the Swedish legislature is aware of this condition. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Schlyter, Mathilda LU
supervisor
organization
course
LAGF03 20172
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Associationsrätt, Rättsekonomi, Aktiebolag, Vinstsyfte, Bolagsstyrning, Mänskliga rättigheter, Intressentteori, Externaliteter
language
Swedish
id
8930337
date added to LUP
2018-02-06 14:29:23
date last changed
2018-02-06 14:29:23
@misc{8930337,
  abstract     = {The limited liability company is a form of business associaton that has advantages that makes it attractive for large and risky business entreprises. One characteristic that is viewed as importand for this quality is that the business purpose is increased shareholder value. Today, limited liability companies exists that rival nation states on scale and political impact. As a consequence they can also exert influence over e.g. people’s access to human rights. Because of this, business corporations are called on to take responsibility to a larger extent than what is demanded by law. This is called CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). This essay examines the business purpose’s impact on the possibility for the companies to consider the well being of other so called stakeholder groups that could be negatively affected by the actions of the corporations and what the Swedish legislature’s apprehension is in this regard.
Corporate law is, due to a number of business scandals mainly in the financial sector, influenced by research in corporate governance, which concerns itself with analyzing how a company best is governed to avoid crisis due to e. g. operational managements with a self-serving agenda or a risk propensity not in accord with the shareholders’. The result of this research tends to ordinate increased control over the company for the shareholders, that is, that the shareholders’ possibilities to control the actions of the board of directors are enhanced and that the directors and executive chiefs should have stronger incentives to act on behalf of the shareholders’ interests. There are however other orientations within the field of corporate governance that claim that the companies should consider and promote other stakeholders.
	Transactional cost theory and agent theory reinforce the image of the fact that strong ownership management is necessary for investment in limited companies to be attractive. This means that the company must be driven by the owners' interest as an action standard. This interest is operationalized to financial profit for the shareholder. Within corporate governance research, there are also theories that the company aims to promote other groups affected by the company, such as workers, communities or the environment. The arguments found in these theories are sometimes normative but can also relate to the perception that a company must have good relationships with other stakeholders in order to be profitable in the long run. Within the framework of this type of corporate governance strategy, companies can engage in CSR.
The profit objective is often justified by the argument that a value-creating business community contributes to the benefit of society and that profitability is necessary for the company to be economically successful. However, through the theory of externality, it can be demonstrated how even a financially successful activity can cause social damage when not the resources used in the business are paid at its right price or in other words, when someone who suffers a damage due to the business is not compensated for their injury. When such compensation can not be achieved through market mechanisms due to transaction costs, legislation can be the most rational solution.
In the design of the Swedish Companies Act, the Swedish legislature has had a clear goal to strengthen ownership management in the limited liability companies. The design of so-called companies with a special profit distribution restriction shows that the legislator is aware that the profit objective can imply a risk that the company tries to make a profit at the expense of a stakeholder group, for example, patients if the company would be a profit-making hospital.
	The findings of this essay is that it is difficult for companies to carry out CSR work to an extent that risks such as human access to human rights are not compromised if these do not have a market value. Legislation is therefore required to prevent this. The essay also finds that the Swedish legislature is aware of this condition.},
  author       = {Schlyter, Mathilda},
  keyword      = {Associationsrätt,Rättsekonomi,Aktiebolag,Vinstsyfte,Bolagsstyrning,Mänskliga rättigheter,Intressentteori,Externaliteter},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Luften är fri - En undersökning av relationen mellan aktiebolagets vinstsyfte och övriga intressenthänsyn},
  year         = {2017},
}