Ownership, Activism and Engagement: Institutional Investors as Active Owners

13 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2016

See all articles by Terry McNulty

Terry McNulty

University of Liverpool

Donald Nordberg

Bournemouth University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2016


Manuscript Type. Conceptual.

Research Question/Issue. We research two questions: First, why do some institutional investors operate at a distance from organizations seemingly acting only to “exit” and “trade” shares, while others actively engage through various means of “voice”? Second, what processes and behaviour are associated with active ownership?

Research Findings/Insights. We develop the concept of active ownership by drawing on contrasting theories and images of ownership, identifying antecedents of active ownership and distinguishing between alternative processes of active ownership.

Theoretical/Academic Implications. Alternative pathways to active ownership contrast the distant, sometimes adversarial nature of shareholder activism with an engaged, collaborative relationship between investors and corporations. Few studies examine active ownership as a process of engagement and mutual exchange between parties taking a generally longer‐term perspective toward investment in the firm and its affairs. After modeling active ownership, we develop a research agenda of substantive issues ranging from market and institutional conditions, through investment organization and practice, to board and investor relations.

Practitioner/Policy Implications. Opening up the multidimensionality of engagement and relations between investors and corporations is crucial to promoting good corporate governance. Policymakers and practitioners require such knowledge when anticipating and developing adjustments to institutions of corporate governance.

Keywords: Corporate Governance, Institutional Investors, Ownership, Activism, Engagement

Suggested Citation

McNulty, Terry and Nordberg, Donald, Ownership, Activism and Engagement: Institutional Investors as Active Owners (May 2016). Corporate Governance: An International Review, Vol. 24, Issue 3, pp. 346-358, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2769043 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/corg.12143

Terry McNulty (Contact Author)

University of Liverpool ( email )

Chatham Street
Liverpool, L69 7ZA
United Kingdom

Donald Nordberg

Bournemouth University ( email )

Executive Business Centre, 89 Holdenhurst Road,
Bournemouth, BH8 8EB
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://staffprofiles.bournemouth.ac.uk/display/dnordberg

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