Governance ≠ Leadership: What Blockchain and AI Won't Do for Corporate Lawyers

The Journal of Corporation Law, 2020

19 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2020 Last revised: 4 Jan 2021

Date Written: June 22, 2020


This is a contribution to the Journal of Corporation Law’s 2020 symposium on blockchain technology and corporate governance. The thesis is that blockchain technology is well suited to the monitoring function in corporate governance; that monitoring as the primary function of corporate governance is a particularly legal conception; and that the business conception of governance has far more to do with leadership, strategy, and operations. If the legal and business conceptions of governance tend to be ships passing in the night (at least in this somewhat exaggerated rendering), it is because prevailing economic and legal theoretical models have a difficult time incorporating human qualities that underlie leadership, intuition, insight, and creativity. Law schools have long taught litigation skills and transactional skills have come into vogue as well. Teaching leadership to aspiring business lawyers is the next challenge.

Keywords: corporate governance, blockchain, monitoring, economics, artificial intelligence, leadership, directors

JEL Classification: K22

Suggested Citation

Lipshaw, Jeffrey M., Governance ≠ Leadership: What Blockchain and AI Won't Do for Corporate Lawyers (June 22, 2020). The Journal of Corporation Law, 2020, Available at SSRN:

Jeffrey M. Lipshaw (Contact Author)

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States


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