Corporate governance: what we know and what we don’t know

  • Julie ElstonEmail author


The corporate governance literature provides a rich framework for examining the theoretical models and related mechanisms by which a firm is operated and controlled, but there are a number of challenges for future research that remain. This paper identifies some of the key studies and contributions of the existing corporate governance literature, while identifying several fruitful areas for research where our understanding of corporate governance is incomplete. For example, what is the relationship between and corporate social responsibilities, and how might this change in different institutional environments? Expanding standard models to include more nuanced factors within diverse and dynamic institutional environments is one challenge we face in modeling governance more comprehensively. In addition, as data becomes more easily available on smaller countries, transitional economies, and in frontier and emerging markets, we also need to expand our studies beyond the large Western country context. Future empirical work should undertake to better understand and examine the institutional structures, systems, mechanisms and incentives within understudied regions around the world. Beyond the notion of replication studies, careful cross-country studies would enable us to compare outcomes with existing studies and better inform us on fundamental difference (and similarities) between systems, contributing to our discussions on the limits of conversation between governance systems.


Corporate governance Agency problems Mechanisms 

JEL Classification



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Copyright information

© Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of BusinessOregon State UniversityBendUSA

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