Policy Press

What Do Corporations Want?

Communicative Capitalism, Corporate Purpose, and a New Theory of the Firm

By Timothy Kuhn

Published

Jun 26, 2024

Page count

192 pages

ISBN

978-1529214277

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Jun 26, 2024

Page count

192 pages

ISBN

978-1529214291

Dimensions

Imprint

Bristol University Press
What Do Corporations Want?

“Corporate purpose” has become a battleground for stakeholders’ competing desires. Some argue that corporations must simply generate profit; others suggest that we must make them create social change.

Leading organization studies scholar Timothy Kuhn argues that this “either-or” thinking dramatically oversimplifies matters: today’s corporations must be many things, all at once.

Kuhn offers a bold new Communicative Theory of the Firm to highlight the authority that creates corporations’ identities and activities. The theory provides a roadmap for navigating that battleground of competing desires to produce more responsive corporations.

Drawing on communicative and new materialist theorizing, along with three insightful case studies, this book thoroughly redefines our understandings of what corporations are “for.”

Timothy Kuhn is Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Introduction

1. New Forms of Value Generation under Communicative Capitalism

2. Why an Alternative Theory of the Firm?

3. Assembling an Analytical Apparatus: CCO Encounters Deleuzian New Materialism

4. A Communicative Theory of the Firm

5. Boundarying: Inclusion and Exclusion in Dynamic Capability (Re)Development

6. Branding: Hindering Heterarchy in a Startup Accelerator

7. Binding: Collective Atomization and B Corps

8. A New Future for the Theory of the Firm