Ed Freeman was much more down to earth than I anticipated him to be. I expected that he would be a more theoretical speaker, and that he would focus more on ideas from what he has written at a more in-depth level, or at least discuss more about shareholder versus stakeholder value theory.
Although I did not personally ask Ed Freeman a question, I was interested in learning his opinion on the current state of the economy and the financial industry. I would have asked him how the stakeholder theory has played a role in the financial crisis of 2008, or in the ongoing recovery of this financial crisis. While Freeman never specifically touched on this topic, one of my peers did ask him his thoughts on how the global financial crisis has changed business. Freeman responded by saying that essentially many destructive events occurred in the name of shareholder value, and not in the way business works.
I was ultimately unsatisfied with this answer, like I was with Freeman’s answers to other questions. I felt as though his answers lacked of clarity and did not entirely relate to the specific question at hand. Overall, I felt as though Ed Freeman’s talk lacked focus, considering the fact that he touched on a number of different topics, but never discussed any of them in-depth and with a clear focus.
On a separate note, was anyone also surprised by all that beard?