The 'Ignored' Third Dimension of Corporate Governance
Joseph A. McCahery
Tilburg University - School of Law; European Banking Center (EBC); Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Erik P. M. Vermeulen
Tilburg University - Department of Business Law; Philips Lighting - Legal Department; Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); Kyushu University - Graduate School of Law
January 5, 2014
European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) - Law Working Paper No. 235/2014
Lex Research Topics in Corporate Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2014-1
The separation of ownership and control has always been central in corporate governance debates. A large body of literature has sought to show that control-enhancing arrangements can deter investors. However, the experience of the last few years has suggested that companies with widely dispersed ownership can suffer from their own issues – not least short-termism. So, is ownership structure really the dividing line between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ governance that many commentators suggest? This short essay suggests that policymakers, academics and practitioners should be careful in deriving conclusions about the most effective ownership and control structures. Ownership is firm-specific and varies across life cycle stages, sectors, regions, countries and cultures. Ownership structures are also dynamic in that they (should) change over time according to evolving markets and shifting business strategies and practices.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
Keywords: controlling ownership, corporate governance, innovation, investor relations, shareholder value, widely dispersed ownership
JEL Classification: G01, G34, K20, K22, L22, L25, O16
Date posted: January 6, 2014 ; Last revised: January 24, 2014
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