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Meanings of ownership of the firm


  • Simon Learmount
  • John Roberts


The notion of 'ownership of the firm' is central to conventional treatments of corporate governance, yet there is very little discussion about what this means in practice. In this paper we briefly draw attention to some of the debates around the notion of ownership in various disciplinary fields, and then recount and discuss some of the meanings associated with ownership of the firm that we have found in two empirical studies carried out in the UK and Japan. Our aim is to illuminate and disturb some of the commonly taken for granted notions of what it means to 'own' a firm.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Learmount & John Roberts, 2002. "Meanings of ownership of the firm," Working Papers wp238, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp238
    Note: PRO-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-795, December.
    2. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
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    More about this item


    corporate governance; ownership;

    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • L00 - Industrial Organization - - General - - - General

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