The shortcomings of the corporate standard: towards new enterprise frameworks?
As corporate governance is more driven by shareholder-oriented principles, managers are expected to adopt new attitudes and to be more accountable to shareholders in terms of their strategies and decisions. Yet, when governance is seen primarily as a 'corporate matter', it exclusively concerns the coalition of shareholders. This convergence towards the model of the public corporation raises major questions as it leaves aside collective activities and their value creation processes. Coordination, capabilities development and innovation are omitted in the prevalent representation of the corporation. This omission is symptomatic of the confusion between the legal corporate model and the actual activities of the firm. In their own ways, both shareholders' and stakeholders' approaches of the firm refer to the legal framework of the public corporation. This article argues that the concept of the firm should be distinguished from its corporate forms. Going back to the basic nature of the firm, it suggests that a firm is a collective endeavour whose activities are directed by management to create new potentials. By challenging the public corporation as a relevant model for the governance of the firm, it indicates new possible and pluralist norms of governance.
Volume (Year): 22 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
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