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The History of Corporate Governance

OXFORD HANDBOOK OF CORPORATE GOVERNANCE, Mike Wright, Donald Siegel, Kevin Keasey and Igor Filatotchev, eds., Oxford University Press, 2013

University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 54/2011

ECGI - Law Working Paper No. 184/2012

38 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2011 Last revised: 20 May 2013

Brian R. Cheffins

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Date Written: December 1, 2011

Abstract

“Corporate governance” first came into vogue in the 1970s in the United States. Within 25 years corporate governance had become the subject of debate worldwide by academics, regulators, executives and investors. This paper traces developments occurring between the mid-1970s and the end of the 1990s, by which point “corporate governance” was well-entrenched as academic and regulatory shorthand. The paper concludes by surveying briefly recent developments and by maintaining that analysis of the inter-relationship between directors, executives and shareholders of publicly traded companies is likely to be conducted through the conceptual prism of corporate governance for the foreseeable future.

Keywords: corporate governance, board of directors, shareholder activism, agency costs

JEL Classification: G30, G38, K22, N21

Suggested Citation

Cheffins, Brian R., The History of Corporate Governance (December 1, 2011). OXFORD HANDBOOK OF CORPORATE GOVERNANCE, Mike Wright, Donald Siegel, Kevin Keasey and Igor Filatotchev, eds., Oxford University Press, 2013; University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 54/2011; ECGI - Law Working Paper No. 184/2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1975404 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1975404

Brian R. Cheffins (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom
+44 1223 330084 (Phone)
+44 1223 330055 (Fax)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

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