Managerial Capitalism in Retrospect by Robin Marris (auth.)

By Robin Marris (auth.)

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Combined with the Puritan moral injunction against consumption, the resulting morality implied a continual attempt to maximize profits and to reinvest most of the proceeds. The 'Puritan' was thus a man with an almost unlimited appetite for future wealth who could have been interpreted by economic theory as endowed with a negative rate of time discount. His utility function contained only one variable, and this Divine index was the logarithm of net assets. Of course, if one was not of the elect, nothing was of any use anyway, but, fortunately for society, one did not discover the truth until one died.

THE INFLUENCE OF THE STOCK MARKET Because shares are bought and sold in an organized market, management policies must affect their prices. But these, in turn, react on management in several ways. First, it is by no means unlikely that the market valuation of a company directly enters the managerial utility function. They may feel prestige associated with healthy prices - a sign of approbation from the investing class; they may feel loyalty to their shareholders; or they may have a sense of conscience towards the shares as such: under modem conditions, the share holders, as a body of persons, are changing every day, but the shares, though abstract, are constant, and their market price well known.

Similarly, we shall find that internal sociology of working in a team, the managerial code of professional competence, the system of rewards for the managers in the form of salary, bonus or stock-option schemes, and the objective nature of the organization of the modem corporation can be made to yield definite behavioural implications. The main concluding theorem is that the various pressures mentioned above lead managers to maximize the rate of growth of the firm they are employed in subject to a constraint imposed by the security motive.

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