Harvard Business Review
This article originally appeared in Harvard Business Review.
Most people will readily agree that the first responsibility of business leaders is to grow the long-term value of their companies. But that’s where the agreement ends and the debate begins: What is value, and how should it be measured and managed? Is a company’s value maximized by being shareholder-centric, customer-centric, employee-centric, or some-other-stakeholder-centric? In a complex system where every stakeholder influences other stakeholders’ outcomes—highly engaged employees improve customer satisfaction, which in turn helps accelerate profitable growth, and so on—are any stakeholders safe to neglect?