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Varieties of Governance

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  • Ciaran DRIVER

    (Imperial College London)

Abstract

The reform of corporate governance is again on the agenda in the wake of Enron and excessive risk-taking by financial institutions. However, the search for new and better forms of governance often seems to lack guiding principles. A theory of corporate governance ought to emerge from a theory of the firm. Yet the literature shows how this project is both difficult and far from complete. In this paper, we review how existing theory provides a variety of arguments favouring either a shareholder or a stakeholder orientation. These arguments may depend on whether the prime objective for governance is improved current performance or a more long term focus for firms. A brief review of recent US governance reforms is given as a back-drop to discussing more far-reaching proposals that have emerged in the recent literature; a greater role for institutional investors on the one hand or a return to managerial capitalism on the other.

Suggested Citation

  • Ciaran DRIVER, 2008. "Varieties of Governance," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 2008041, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvre:2008041
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    Keywords

    Corporate; governance; shareholder; stakeholder; innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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