Roger Martin, co-author of Playing to Win, holds the unexpected view that "setting as your goal the maximization of shareholder value is a bad idea." Why would this be the case, especially when many companies expressly state that one of their major goals is to benefit the stockholders? Because, as Martin explains, "Setting it as your goal makes it less likely that you will maximize shareholder value." This certainly sounds counterintuitive. However, the reasoning behind Martin's statements is that companies need to focus on customer satisfaction first, and they also need to maintain and nurture employee morale. Both of these goals are complicated when customers and/or employees hear how they aren't as important as the shareholders. Furthermore, he says by making the customer "deliriously happy," sales will naturally increase -- and also, inevitably, will share prices.

See more in the following video.

To watch the full interview with Roger Martin, click here.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.