1st Edition

Governing the Firm in the Social Interest Corporate Governance Reimagined

By Catherine Casey Copyright 2024

    The corporate business enterprise is a core institution of capitalism. It holds immense political, economic, and cultural power in society. It mobilizes social and planetary resources to its utility in pursuit of private profit maximization and with little regard for social concerns. Its influence over so much of societal life and effects on the natural environment raise critical questions about the firm and its governance in democratic society. Various voices seek reforms of regulation and corporate governance practices to those shaped by the neoliberal policies persisting in the current decades. But prospects for amelioration within our current horizons of thinking appear elusive. This book contributes a distinctly social theoretical approach to the social problem of governing the firm. Its discussions complement debates in economics, politics, and law. Its critical social theorizations challenge conventional understandings of the firm and neoliberal legitimacies of its governance and posit alternatives. The book explores the social relations and moral fabric of the firm and the creativity of human action at work. It proposes a reimagined corporate governance premised on just recognition of that social vitality. It invites unprecedented collaboration for a robust participatory democracy for governing the firm and market action oriented to ecological and social sustainability.

    Chapter 1.  Private Corporate Power and Society

    Chapter 2.  Contentions of Corporate Governance

    Chapter 3.  A Moral Appeal

    Chapter 4.  A Social Movement

    Chapter 5.  The Social Life of Organization

    Chapter 6.  The Social Voice

    Chapter 7.  Corporate Governance Reimagined


    Catherine Casey, Ph.D. University of Rochester, New York, is a sociologist and Professor of Organization and Society at Loughborough University, United Kingdom.

    "This is nothing less than a monumental piece of social-scientific scholarship that simply must be read by anyone with a serious interest in corporate governance. Professor Catherine Casey is an outstanding scholar who is equally accomplished in dealing with insights from sociology, political philosophy, organisational theory, economics, management and the law. Here she brings this diverse body of perspectives together to build a compelling and urgent case for reform of long-established ways of thinking about the firm. Above all, this work demonstrates the inherent sociality and rich moral fabric of business organisations, in which work relations form a pivotal and definitive element.” Marc Moore, Chair in Corporate/Financial Law, UCL Faculty of Laws, University College London


    “Casey’s critique of the governance of the firm takes us far beyond current law or corporate social responsibility nostrums. This book offers a rich critique of “desocialization” in the neoliberal enterprise… Invoking a philosophical tradition running from Hegel to the Pragmatists, she offers a compelling and sophisticated theoretical argument for resocialization via the recognition of workers as the moral owners of the firm’s essential productive capacities. Casey’s call widens and deepens our democratic imaginary.” Paul S. Adler, Harold Quinton Chair of Business Policy, University of Southern California