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Corporate Governance And Impossibilism


  • Ismail Erturk
  • Julie Froud
  • Sukhdev Johal
  • Adam Leaver
  • David Shammai
  • Karel Williams


This paper presents a mixed methods analysis of corporate governance and develops an argument that governance is impossibilist because it inflates expectations and sets fundamentally unattainable objectives. Disappointment with corporate governance is justified because proceduralisation plus new mechanisms (such as the insistence on more independent non-executive directors) have little ascertainable positive effect on shareholder value and firm performance. More fundamentally, governance misrecognises the mechanisms around value creation in giant public companies because it is shareholders more so than managers who create value in a stock market that operates as a kind of Ponzi scheme. A brief conclusion notes that impossibilism is associated with a massive increase in the circulation of ‘sincere lies’ which insidiously discredit the public company as an institution.

Suggested Citation

  • Ismail Erturk & Julie Froud & Sukhdev Johal & Adam Leaver & David Shammai & Karel Williams, 2008. "Corporate Governance And Impossibilism," Journal of Cultural Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 109-127, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jculte:v:1:y:2008:i:2:p:109-127
    DOI: 10.1080/17530350802243503

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eve Chiapello & Luc Boltanski, 2005. "The New Spirit of Capitalism," Post-Print hal-00680089, HAL.
    2. Eve Chiapello & Luc Boltanski, 2005. "The New Spirit of Capitalism," Post-Print hal-00678024, HAL.
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