In the mirror of the market: the disciplinary effects of company/fund manager meetings
We consider the consequences of the regular private meetings between directors of FTSE 100 companies and their major institutional shareholders. Whilst the economic incentives for both the flow of information and the formation of 'strategic informational relationships' between the two have been described elsewhere, little attention has been paid to date to the effects that increased levels of monitoring and surveillance have on the conduct and performance of company directors. We present findings from a qualitative study in which we interviewed finance directors and fund managers, and observed a series of meetings between them. We draw on Foucault's analysis of the operation of disciplinary power to suggest that the meetings serve as ritual reminders to directors that their primary objective must be the pursuit of shareholder value, a task that whilst empowering, may also have unintended consequences.
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