Michael Novak On Capitalism And The Corporation

1401 words - 6 pages

The reading that was investigated consisted of an article from Michael Novak entitled “Michael Novak on Capitalism and the Corporation”. Novak (1997) dissected the chronology of corporations and posed many compelling convictions on differences between corporations in the United States, Britain, and Europe. While his convictions are, direct and come across as assaults on corporations they, command the reader to broaden their perceptions of capitalism as it relates to corporations. I will examine five discussion questions which Jennings (2009) posed in a case study that is related to Novak’s (1997) article “Michael Novak on Capitalism and the Corporation”.
The first discussion question posed was, “How long has the corporation existed” (Jennings, 2009, p. 89)? Novak (1997) wrote corporations have been in existence since the Middle Ages. Those primitive corporations were different from those of today. Novak (1997) wrote corporations of the early Middle Ages consisted of burial societies, monasteries, towns, and universities. As time progressed throughout the Middle Ages, corporations started to grow and move beyond the common monastery and town entities. In fact, joint-stock companies started to sprout up in the late fifteenth century. Tran (2008) wrote that the earliest documented joint-stock corporations traced back to the Middle Ages.
The second discussion question posed was, “What is the difference between the British and European corporation and the U.S. corporation”? What does Dr. Novak feel is the result of the difference (Jennings, 2009, p. 89)? The British and European corporations were massively grounded in the rights of association. Corporations in the Europe and Britain were owned by the privileged and were heavily controlled by the state. Novak (1997) wrote corporations in the Europe and Britain during the Middle Ages were based on monopolies, trust, grants. One must consider the question, is the European and British monopoly based system more effective in the long-term than our current United States corporate system. While this type of monopolized privileged system dominates Europe, their economy appears to be thriving. According to Grief (2006) European corporations consciously and purposely adopted the corporate philosophy of controlling and monopolizing during the Middle Ages to nourish long-term growth.
Conversely, Novak (1997) wrote that during the early Middle Ages the United States were not in support of dependence on aristocratic charters from across the ocean. Furthermore, Novak (1997) stated that the United States had many aboriginals that wanted to form independent corporations. Novak (1997) wrote that United States corporations were founded on inventions of civil society in conjunction with independent citizens. Unlike, the British and European corporations, the United States corporations survived on meeting the expectations of its customer base in conjunction with meeting the needs of investors. In...

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