This past summer I interned at CIGNA, which is a multinational health insurance company, in their corporate accounting department. From my experience there, I believe that they very much operate under shareholder management as opposed to stakeholder management. This was probably accentuated because I was working in the accounting and finance department where the bottom-line is the most important thing to them, but nonetheless it seemed to be company wide attitude. During my time there, I was lucky enough to be invited by my boss to a series of meetings with high-level executives where they discussed what special items they needed to disclose in the second quarter earnings release. In the final meeting, the CEO was present and they presented to him what special items they decided to disclose and the only part that he cared about was how everything was worded to look the best for the shareholders.
Milton Friedman would believe that CIGNA is operating socially responsibly because they are using shareholder management, and everything they are doing is to increase their profits within the rules and regulations of their industry. Executives are not acting for themselves by using shareholders’ money to do what they believe is socially responsible.