Who does a corporation have a greater obligation to serve? Their customers or shareholders?
That's a trick question.
The shareholders are served best when new and repeat customers purchase the company's products/services thereby increasing profits thereby increasing the company's net worth thereby increasing the worth of the company stock.
In order to satisfy shareholders they must first satisfy customers
As long as they keep customers coming in the shareholders will be happy.
The shareholders are best served when the customer receives the best serves.
Strictly shareholders. They owe their customers nothing, and only provide the illusion they are "serving" them at all to keep them coming back and spending money, enhancing profit. Profit isn't the main thing; it's the only thing.
What Zod said. I'd like to add that companies do better for their shareholders in the long run if they serve their customers well.
They also do better for their shareholders if they stay in business. Profit is necessary but not the highest priority in business.
Semantics. Staying in business is part of maximizing profit.
Clearly not semantics.
I see it as short term vs long term strategy.
You can make a lot of profit with a short term strategy but it will catch up with you eventually.
Without clients, shareholders don't have much. But that's not how it works. The shareholder always, ALWAYS comes first. And I say that somewhat bitterly right now.
Both, bring a CEO means finding a balance that makes everyone happy. And a person can easily be both a customer and a stockholder, i.e. Apple, Starbucks
Do = shareholders. Should = customers.
If you don't serve the the customers well you may not be able to serve shareholders well.
But everything these days is about making as much profits as possible...and not caring about customers and rank and file employees.
I mean, this is a kinda stupid question. Shareholders are technically customers themselves.
It should be equal treatment between the two.
Of course serving customers make the wheels turn.
The balance between stakeholders and shareholders is a pendulum that swings importance between the two. Someplace in the late 70s early 80s it started shifting drastically toward shareholders. Hopefully, that will continue to balance with the Millennial generation.
While it should be the customers, the purpose of a corporation is to return profit to its shareholders
Hasn't always been that way. Utter fixation on profit above community and customer is only a few decades old. There are signs that it is moving in the opposite direction.
I hope you are right, but what are some of the sighs you refer to?
One sign is the growing number of start ups that give back to the community on a per sale basis. The one that immediately springs to mind is a firm that sells socks and donates a pair to local shelters for each pair sold. There's a ton of similar ones out there.
It's all up to the shareholders . . . they own the Company . . . If it fails it is their responsibility.