Corporate Governance and Innovation in Mobile Telecommunications:
This paper studies the links between corporate governance and one of the major technological innovations of the modern era, mobile telephony. We focus on three countries of the Nordic area – Sweden, Norway and Finland – asking why this relatively small and indeed peripheral region has become a world leader in this complex and dynamic technology. Our argument is that the governance systems of the major telecommunciations service companies of the region underlies the evolution of the technology. The approach taken to corporate governance in this paper differs from that which is common in the literature. Rather than looking at governance as a problem of how corporate managements comply with the value maximisation objectives of shareholders we follow Lazonick and O’Sullivan (2000) in seeing it in terms of resource allocation. Specifically, we are concerned with the processes through which firms allocate resources to tangible and intangible investments in innovation. A key question is how different modes of corporate governance contribute to innovation performance and economic growth over the long run.
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