The Problem with People, The Problem with Business


This piece is about losing sight of what’s really important in our lives. The author writes about people who live their daily lives in the pursuit of making more money and buying nicer things and using material objects as a measurement of happiness. But it’s clear that he knows that is all wrong. It’s about finding worth in your everyday tasks. It’s about learning, loving, and being happy.

Now stick with me, because I promise this relates to our class…

As I was reading this article I couldn’t help but think of shareholder and stakeholder theory. Businesses focusing on shareholder theory think that by bringing more wealth to their shareholders, their company will thrive. But this seems so backwards to me. I will not argue that companies should not be focused on earning money. Of course they should! However, this is a result of their main priority – selling some good or service. Companies need to be focusing on this – selling their product or service in the best way possible. Businesses should be working to make the business the best it can be. The corporate world, much like our social world, has lost sight of the main priority. Businesses work through a tunnel vision to raise shareholder value, thinking of nothing other than that. However, it’s important to step back and reevaluate. Businesses will be far more successful if they consider a holistic approach to their success – not just shareholder wealth. Just like people will be far happier if they consider a holistic approach to happiness – not just money and material things.