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Corporate Governance in Contention$
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Ciaran Driver and Grahame Thompson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198805274

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198805274.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 May 2020

Reversing Financialization

Reversing Financialization

Shareholder Value and the Legal Reform of Corporate Governance

(p.25) 2 Reversing Financialization
Corporate Governance in Contention

Simon Deakin

Oxford University Press

The debate over corporate governance is skewed by the common misunderstanding that shareholders are the owners of companies, and are entitled to have them run in their interest. The legal model of the firm is more nuanced, seeing the corporation as a complex entity characterized by co-operation between the suppliers of capital and labour, with a co-ordinating role for management. The elevation of shareholder primacy as a focal point for corporate strategy over recent decades is the result of government deferring to financial interests in the making of rules governing takeovers and board structure. Reversing financialization, and the negative impact it is having on social cohesion and innovation, will require a new legislative framework for corporate governance, with a greater role for employee voice and a reorientation of investment priorities.

Keywords:   Corporate law, takeovers, hedge fund activism, shareholder value, law reform

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