Clarke Program on Corporations and Society

Issues We Are Looking At

Shareholder Activism and Short-TermismShares in US Corporations today are held for an average of six months or less.  Shareholder activist campaigns accordingly can drive companies to focus on short-term results and to neglect the interests of long-term shareholders and important corporate stakeholders like employees, customers, bondholders, and the nation as a whole. The Clarke Program on Corporations & Society seeks to understand the role of short-term shareholders in modern corporate governance and identify ways to ensure that corporations do not neglect long-term shareholder and stakeholder interests.

Legal Personality and the Nature of CorporationsCertain beliefs about corporations and corporate law are widely held and relied upon by economists, business experts, and the financial press. For example, it is commonly believed that shareholders own corporations and that corporate law requires managers to "maximize shareholder value." Unfortunately, many of these widely-held beliefs are mistaken and have led to harmful errors in the way corporate law is understood and applied. The Clarke Program on Corporations & Society promotes a more accurate and realistic understanding of corporations and corporate law.

Corporations and InnovationBusiness corporations are responsible for some of the most important innovations in human history. Corporations built the railroads and the electrical grid, developed the internet and mass production, and are currently working on self-driving cars and commercial space exploration. The Clarke Program on Corporations & Society investigates the part corporations play in innovation and supports research and scholarship on how to promote and protect business corporations' vital role in innovation and economic development.