IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Corporate Governance and the Public Interest


  • J. Robert Branston
  • Keith Cowling
  • Roger Sugden


Corporate governance has long been a concern for industrial economists but not typically a centrepiece of policy. One reason is that policy design has been based on a market-orientated approach to the theory and impact of the firm. In contrast, this paper is rooted in a strategic decision-making perspective that makes corporate governance a central policy issue. Moreover, whereas responses to corporate scandals have focused on shareholders wronged by managers, we see the significance of corporate governance very differently. Merely to punish managers who fail shareholders is to ignore systemic failures, namely that, by design, managers are not democratically accountable to all interests in corporations' activities. The impact of modern corporations turns crucially on who governs. In practice preferences over strategy vary across actors but not all interests are currently being represented in decision making, resulting in a failure to govern in the public interest. As solutions, we consider the design of company law and also more immediate ways forward, focusing on regulation and democratically controlled public agencies. Our prime concern is the fundamental significance of active, effective citizens. Throughout, the arguments are illustrated using examples from various countries and industries.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Robert Branston & Keith Cowling & Roger Sugden, 2006. "Corporate Governance and the Public Interest," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(2), pages 189-212.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:20:y:2006:i:2:p:189-212
    DOI: 10.1080/02692170600581110

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Christos Pitelis, 2013. "Towards a More ‘Ethically Correct’ Governance for Economic Sustainability," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 118(3), pages 655-665, December.
    2. repec:eee:indorg:v:55:y:2017:i:c:p:182-189 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Silvia Sacchetti, 2015. "Inclusive and Exclusive Social Preferences: A Deweyan Framework to Explain Governance Heterogeneity," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 126(3), pages 473-485, February.
    4. J. Robert Branston & Lauretta Rubini & Roger Sugden & James Wilson, 2006. "The healthy development of economies: A strategic framework for competitiveness in the health industry," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 64(3), pages 301-329.
    5. Malida Mooken & Roger Sugden, 2014. "The Capabilities of Academics and Academic Poverty," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 588-614, November.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:20:y:2006:i:2:p:189-212. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.