Progressive Corporate Governance for the 21st Century

By Lorraine Talbot

© 2013 – Routledge

240 pages

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Paperback: 9781138805200
pub: 2014-06-23
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Hardback: 9780415563826
pub: 2012-09-10
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About the Book

Progressive Corporate Governance for the 21st Century is a wide ranging and ambitious study of why corporate governance is the shape that it is, and how it can be better. The book sets out the emergence of shareholder primacy orientated corporate governance using a study of historical developments in the United Kingdom and the United States. Talbot sees shareholder primacy as a political choice made by governments, not a ‘natural’ feature of the inevitable market. She describes the periods of progressive corporate governance which governments promoted in the middle of the 20th century using a close examination of the theories of the company which then prevailed. She critically examines the rise of neoliberal theories on the company and corporate governance and argues that they have had a negative and regressive impact on social and economic development. In examining contemporary corporate governance she shows how regulatory styles as informed and described by prevailing regulatory theories, enables neoliberal outcomes. She illustrates how United Kingdom-derived corporate governance codes have informed the corporate governance initiatives of European and global institutions. From this she argues that neoliberalism has re-entered ex command transition economies through those United Kingdom and OECD inspired corporate governance Codes over a decade after the earlier failed and destructive neoliberal prescriptions for transition had been rejected. Throughout, Talbot argues that shareholder primacy has socially regressive outcomes and firmly takes a stand against current initiatives to enhance shareholder voting in such issues as director remuneration. The book concludes with a series of proposals to recalibrate the power between those involved in company activity; shareholders, directors and employees so that the public company can begin to work for the public and not shareholders.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Progressive Thought and the Historical Emergence of the Company in England 1770-1900 2. Corporate Governance in the United Kingdom in the Twentieth Century including a period of Progressive Governance 3. The United States and Progressive Governance: The Historical Development of the American Corporation 1790-1944 4. The Managerialists’ Progressive Corporation and the Rise of Neo-Liberal Corporate Governance 5. The Retreat from Progress: Modern Corporate Governance, Substance and Form 6. The March to anti-progressiveness: Neo-Liberalism and Transition Economies 7. Conclusion: And in Conclusion: Towards a Progressive Corporate Governance

About the Author

Lorraine Talbot is an Associate Professor at Warwick Law School at the University of Warwick. She has written, researched and taught extensively on contextual, historical and critical approaches to company law, corporate governance and business organisations. She is currently writing the second edition of her 2008 book Critical Company Law and has published in many journals including the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, Common Law World Review and the Seattle Law Review. Lorraine is general editor of Warwick Law School's working papers and manages Warwick’s multi-cultural scholars' programme.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Corporate Law

The credit crunch of 2007 and the ensuing financial crises have led to a renewed interest in the place of corporations in the modern world and the role of law and regulation in governing their behaviour. This series looks to survey the current developments within the field of corporate law as well as mapping out future opportunities for change. The series offers a comparative approach to the subject, looking not just at North America and Europe but also at the state of affairs elsewhere in the world. Written by influential scholars, the books offer thought-provoking and often critical analyses of corporate law. The functions and legal obligations and rights of multiple stakeholders including directors, investors, governments and regulators are examined from both empirical and theoretical standpoints. Whilst being grounded in law the series also draws upon research from the disciplines of economics, management studies, sociology and politics in order to explore the implications of corporate law in their wider social and economic context.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUS010000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Business Law
LAW000000
LAW / General
LAW016000
LAW / Comparative
LAW022000
LAW / Corporate
LAW104000
LAW / Computer & Internet