Corporate Governance and the Political Economy of the Company
In Beate Sjåfjell and Christopher M. Bruner (eds), Cambridge Handbook of Corporate Law, Corporate Governance and Sustainability (Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming).
Posted: 8 May 2019
Date Written: May 6, 2019
This chapter argues that the legal architecture of the company obfuscates the political relationship between shareholders and employees and transforms captured value from employees into a transferable and fungible property form. It sets out this claim within a Marxian analysis of the political economy mapped onto the legal architecture of the company. Following on from this analysis, the chapter also demonstrates that recent initiatives that exhort shareholders to govern the company and to monitor company executives – through, for example, the rapidly proliferating Stewardship Codes – attempt to subvert the legal and economic nature of modern shareholders as rentiers, to ill effect.
Keywords: shareholder governance, exploitation, Marxism, stewardship, value capture
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