Founder-CEO values, the conception of ownership and governance models illustrated in a case study of Auchan
This article looks beyond economic and institutional factors to address the role of corporate founder-CEO values when determining ownership structures and corporate governance mechanisms. We take the Upper-Echelons Theory as our central premise, according to which a firm reflects the experience and values of those occupying its senior executive positions, to explain the existence and persistence of certain atypical methods (with reference to the dominant model), in matters of corporate governance. The Auchan Group represents one such atypical case and provides a concrete example of the effects of a particular value system and how its conception of ownership affects its governance model. In particular, in the case of Auchan, it appears that the evolution of the ownership structure is not dictated by the need to protect shareholder rights, but rather it follows a value system which considers that corporate ownership and its related rights come with a lasting responsibility to the firm's staff.
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