The increase in economic inequality—within and between organizations and countries—reduces overall well-being, societal trust, safety, and mental health. The emphasis on shareholder wealth maximization is an important contributor to economic inequality, because it works to maximize the economic resources distributed to shareholders and executives, and minimize the resources distributed to other stakeholders (e.g., employees, governments, community, suppliers).
In addition to shareholder wealth maximization, this paper highlights "the bidirectional relationship between societal economic inequality and organizations, and eight mechanisms that drive this relationship."
Bapuji, H., Ertug, G., & Shaw, J. D. (2019). Organizations and Societal Economic Inequality: A Review and Way Forward. Academy of Management Annals.