Comparative and International Corporate Governance

73 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2011 Last revised: 11 Jun 2011

See all articles by Ruth V. Aguilera

Ruth V. Aguilera

Northeastern University - Department of International Business and Strategy

Gregory Jackson

Freie Universität Berlin

Date Written: February 21, 2011


In this article, we examine the state of the art in comparative and international corporate governance by identifying the key research questions, main concepts, and paradigms of explanations of cross-country diversity in corporate governance. First, we discuss the multiple definitions of corporate governance across disciplines and explore how this multi-dimensional nature of corporate governance posses challenges when making cross-national comparisons. Second, we review existing comparative research on corporate governance and highlight some of the main characteristics of comparative analysis. Third, we analyze how comparative corporate governance has been understood from four different scholarly perspectives: economics and management, culture and sociology, legal, and political paradigms. We conclude from this third section that future research should make an effort to better integrate cross-disciplinary paradigms. Fourth, we investigate what insights these four perspectives bring to better understand change and stability in two particular governance dimensions: corporate ownership and the role of labor in comparative corporate governance. Finally, we conclude the article with some forward looking suggestions regarding (1) how different perspectives of corporate governance can be more effectively integrated by adopting case-based, historical and actor-centered forms of institutional explanations and by (2) discussing the current U.S. corporate governance system, frequently seen as the "best practice" model.

Keywords: corporate governance

Suggested Citation

Aguilera, Ruth V. and Jackson, Gregory, Comparative and International Corporate Governance (February 21, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Ruth V. Aguilera (Contact Author)

Northeastern University - Department of International Business and Strategy ( email )

Boston, MA 02115
United States

Gregory Jackson

Freie Universität Berlin ( email )

Boltzmannstrasse 20
D-14195 Berlin, 14195


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