Shareholder Democracy: Does Gretchen Get it Right?

Posted: 3 Oct 2009

See all articles by David F. Larcker

David F. Larcker

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business

Brian Tayan

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business

Date Written: November 15, 2007

Abstract

By 2007, Gretchen Morgenson, assistant editor and columnist at The New York Times, had gained significant attention from business leaders, regulators, and academics for her coverage of a wide range of financial and governance issues. Morgenson wrote the majority of her articles about corporate malfeasance at the executive and board level, drawing attention to both prominent and lesser-known examples of misbehavior in corporate America. Not everyone, however, agreed with her depiction of and analytical approach to covering governance issues. Critics charged that, although many of the trends she pointed to were worthy of debate, her articles did not appropriately take a comprehensive view or acknowledge the broad implications of her positions. To some extent, Morgenson’s critics were as aggressive in their rebuttal as she was in her assertions. Outside observers were left to wonder whether the polemics employed by both parties helped to further a broad public understanding of the issues under debate or whether they instead fueled the rancor, leaving both sides impossibly divided over the role of shareholders and directors in corporate governance.

Keywords: Board of Directors, shareholder voting, Corporate Governance, newspapers

JEL Classification: G3

Suggested Citation

Larcker, David F. and Tayan, Brian, Shareholder Democracy: Does Gretchen Get it Right? (November 15, 2007). Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University Teaching Case No. CG -09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1482070

David F. Larcker (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )

Graduate School of Business
518 Memorial Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States
650-725-6159 (Phone)

Brian Tayan

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

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