Is it simply to maximize shareholder value? No, according to the Modern Corporation Project, which has produced an excellent video that explains the problems with shareholder value ideology in simple terms that would be accessible to a first-year undergraduate.
I’m sharing the video here in case it is useful to any of my readers in their teaching work.
Incidentally, some of the people behind the video have submitted a response to the UK Government’s Green Paper on Corporate Governance reform. Their paper, which was produced by a team of authors based at Cass Business School, Frank Bold and Sheffield Institute of Corporate and Commercial Law, can be downloaded here.