The outcome of the Dodge and Ford case would be a resounding yes. The Supreme Court would allow Ford to withhold parts of the dividends to be used in expanding the business, as well as support corporate responsibility (CSR) initiatives. The people in the United States would not question the right and responsibility of a corporation to make generous donations towards charity (Arlen and Kahan 325). Lawfully, the senior managers of companies are allowed to make such decisions. In this way, the internal corporate law would allow Ford to make similar decisions of withholding parts of the dividends. The corporate law is envisioned in corporate charters limiting the purpose for which a corporation is established (Arlen and Kahan 334). As such, if the directors desire, they can include the aspect of primarily carrying out business activities for the profit of shareholders. However, business charters do not reflect the recital of the Dodge and Ford case, but instead undertakes to carry out all lawful business activities. The Supreme Court may not question the desire of a corporation to embark on lawful business activities and decisions.
The corporate codes would allow Ford to withhold part of the dividends for business expansion and CRS initiatives. Arlen and Kahan contend that corporate codes allow corporations to consider not just the interests of the shareholders, but also concerns of employees, customers, creditors, and community, when making business decisions (340). The ruling by the Michigan state Supreme Court does not have explicit provision as it does not comprehensively define the corporate purpose as shareholder wealth maximization. The general corporate law allows corporations to be formed to conduct and promote ethical business and purpose. The purpose includes CRS initiatives deemed as an essential component of modern business undertaking.
Arlen, Jennifer, and Marcel Kahan. “Corporate Governance Regulation through Nonprosecution.” The University of Chicago Law Review, vol. 84, no. 1, 2017, pp. 323–387.