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Mental Patterns, Corporate Finance and Institutional Evolution: The Case of the French Corporate Governance System

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Abstract

Since the middle of the nineteen-eighties, the French system of corporate governance has undergone some major transformations. Originally, it was dominated by the State's important weight in the structures constraining managerial discretion in some of France's largest firms. But, the public administration has increasingly retired from its active role in corporate governance matters. This paper addresses the question of a theoretical explanation of the observed phenomenon of the dynamics of governance. The conceptual framework we propose is to a great extent based on the economic theory of institutional change. It strongly emphasizes the role of so-called 'organizational entrepreneurs', who lead the initiative aiming at a transformation of existing structures. In this context, a country's shared mental pattern is, however, supposed to be a force enhancing path dependence. Theoretical propositions are deduced and applied to the case of the French corporate governance system. The analysis of the latter's evolution yields some encouraging results, indicating that the proposed theory seems globally consistent with empirical facts.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Wirtz, 2000. "Mental Patterns, Corporate Finance and Institutional Evolution: The Case of the French Corporate Governance System," Working Papers CREGO 1000101, Université de Bourgogne - CREGO EA7317 Centre de recherches en gestion des organisations.
  • Handle: RePEc:dij:wpfarg:1000101
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Moerland, Pieter W., 1995. "Alternative disciplinary mechanisms in different corporate systems," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 17-34, January.
    2. Garvey, Gerald T. & Swan, Peter L., 1994. "The economics of corporate governance: Beyond the Marshallian firm," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 139-174, August.
    3. Michael C. Jensen, 2010. "The Modern Industrial Revolution, Exit, and the Failure of Internal Control Systems," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 22(1), pages 43-58.
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    5. Erik Berglöf, 1997. "Reforming corporate governance: redirecting the European agenda," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 12(24), pages 91-123, April.
    6. repec:hrv:faseco:30728046 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Denzau, Arthur T & North, Douglass C, 1994. "Shared Mental Models: Ideologies and Institutions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 3-31.
    8. Peter Wirtz, 2001. "Financial Policy, Managerial Discretion and Corporate Governance : The Example of Usinor," Post-Print halshs-00749637, HAL.
    9. Gérard Charreaux & Peter Wirtz, 2007. "Corporate Governance in France," Working Papers CREGO 1070201, Université de Bourgogne - CREGO EA7317 Centre de recherches en gestion des organisations.
    10. Castanias, Richard P. & Helfat, Constance E., 1992. "Managerial and windfall rents in the market for corporate control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 153-184, July.
    11. Douglass C. North, 1993. "Five Propositions about Institutional Change," Economic History 9309001, EconWPA.
    12. Gérard Charreaux, 1996. "Vers une théorie du gouvernement des entreprises," Working Papers CREGO 0960501, Université de Bourgogne - CREGO EA7317 Centre de recherches en gestion des organisations.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    corporate governance; institutional change; organizational entrepreneur; mental pattern; France;

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • D20 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - General
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General

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