Shareholder Primacy and Corporate Governance: Legal Aspects, Practices and Future Directions

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-10-25
  • Publisher: Routledge

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In the light of the increasing significance and dynamism of corporate governance practices, over recent years a significant amount of literature has been dedicated to developing modes of corporate governance. In particular, there has been intense debate concerning the purposes of the corporation, specifically regarding whether shareholder primacy should continue to take precedence in the UK's local economic context. Relying heavily on economic and marketing theories, the influence of shareholder primacy has been overwhelming in both corporate governance practices and in many areas of UK company law. Nevertheless, in response to repeated and notorious corporate scandals that have occurred since the late 1990s, the UK has been singled out in some of the recent literature as the leader in the Anglo-American shareholder-oriented cluster shifting towards the involvement of a wide constituency. This comes as a result of integrating stakeholder considerations into the traditional narrowly-defined objective of shareholder value maximisation in the UK company law regime. The result of rising defaults in the financial market in 2007, the current widespread economic recession and debt crisis have added further impetus to existing doubts about companies' governance, and cast new light on future trends in UK shareholder-oriented corporate practice. Taking account of astonishing developments in the field and realising the current need for changes in governance, this book offers a thorough exploration of the origins, recent changes and future development of the corporate objective-shareholder primacy-in the UK context. Legal and theoretical aspects are examined so as to provide a comprehensive and critical account of the practices reflecting shareholder primacy in the UK. In the wake of the financial crisis, this book investigates the direction of future policy in the UK, with particular attention to changes in governing rules and regulations and their implications for preserving the objective of shareholder primacy. It examines current UK and EU reform proposals calling for long-term and socially-responsible corporate performance by means of shareholder franchise and other empowerments, and the potential friction between proposed legal changes and commercial practices.

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