Did Berle and Means get it wrong? Reflections on Thorstein Veblen, Paul Samuelson, and ‘Corporate Strategy Financialized’

Lewis, Mervyn K.
September 2010
Accounting Forum;Sep2010, Vol. 34 Issue 3/4, p222
Academic Journal
Abstract: This article has two main aims. One is to reconcile Berle and Means’ conclusions in 1932 about management control in large US corporations with the earlier views of Thorstein Veblen, who from much the same starting point reached a seemingly contrary position. The explanation offered in terms of changes in financial control puts many subsequent developments in a different light. The other aim, drawing on the views of Paul Samuelson about product market competition, is to question the precise contribution of the ‘financialization of corporate strategy’ to the institution of ‘the era of shareholder value’.


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