, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 57-70

Corporate Governance: Towards a Theory of Regulatory Shift

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Providing effective corporate governance regulation and controls is a contemporary challenge to all law makers. There exists a need to restore investor confidence while seeking to facilitate and encourage enterprise. This paper reflects on the traditional choice between shareholder versus stakeholder models of corporate governance and suggests that these are inappropriate in the light of emerging news theories of the firm. Instead this paper suggests that law makers should accommodate a shift away from the traditional paradigms of these models in favour of a processual approach of governance. This would require a recognition of the tensions that exist in the regulation of corporate governance and invite the application of a collibratory process to the control of governance. The development and reform of directors’ duties and liabilities, in the UK, is provided as an illustration of the need for the recognised application of a collibratory process. Within that we also consider the application of the economists concept of ‘rent-seeking’ and the conflict between private property rights and public interference.