Historical Context and Codification of Corporate Governance



The UK governance system privileges shareholder rights as residual claimants on the profits of the corporation. But law constrains these rights to produce what has been called an “enlightened shareholder” regime for corporate control. Yet it is the decline of owners’ rights in the face of a diffuse shareholder base precedes any active attempt by the UK to encourage an active market in equity claims. Indeed the current limited liability [corporate form] only emerged quite late in our history, after gaining a somewhat disreputable reputation in the industrial revolution. Limited liability implies that the rights of a corporation must always be more than the sum of its individual shareholders’ rights. So we might ask who is to be the beneficiary of these additional rights?


Corporate Governance Limited Liability Corporate Control Governance Arrangement Governance Regime 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Armour, J., S. Deakin and S. Konzelmann. 2003. Shareholder Primacy and the Trajectory of UK Corporate Governance. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 41, 531–555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Becht, Marco, and Colin Mayer. 2001. The Control of Corporate Europe. European Centre of Corporate Governance. Edited by Frabrizio Barca Oxford. England: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Calomiris, Charles, and Stephen Haber. 2014. Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of the Banking Crisis and Scarse Credit. The Princeton Economic History of the Western World. Edited by Joel Mokyr. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Chandler, Alfred. 1993. The Visible Hand. Harvard, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Coffee, J. 2005. A Theory of Corporate Scandals: Why the USA and Europe Differ? Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 21, 198–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Franks, Julin, Colin Mayer and Stefano Rossi. 2013. “Spending Less Time with the Family: The Decline of Family Ownership in the United Kingdom.” In A History of Corporate Governance around the World: Family Business Groups to Professional Managers, edited by Randall Morck. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  7. Glaeser, E. and A. Shleifer. 2002. “Legal Origins.” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 117, 1193–1229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Goergen, M. 2012. International Corporate Governance, London, Pearson.Google Scholar
  9. Hall, Peter, and David Soskice. 2001. Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Fooundations of Comparative Advantage., Oxford England: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Johnson, S. and J. Kwak. 2010. 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown, New York, USA, Pantheon Books Random House.Google Scholar
  11. Keay, Andrew. 2008. “Ascertaining the Corporate Objective: An Entity Maximisation and Sustainability Model.” The Modern Law Review 71(5): 663–698.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. La Porta, Rafeal, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes and Andrei Shleifer. 1998. “Law and Finance:” Journal of Political Economy 106(6) : 1113–1155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mayer, Colin. 2013. Firm Commitment: Why the Corporation Is Failing Us and How We Can Restore Trust in It?, Oxford England: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Morck, Randall, and Bernard Yeung. 2009. “Never Waste a Good Financial Crisis: A Historical Perspective on Comparative Corporate Governance.” Annual Review of Financial Economics 1: 145–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Olson, Mancur. 1982. The Rise and Decline of Nations, Economic Growth, Stagflation and and Social Rigidities. Yale, NJ: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Romano, Roberta. 1996. “Corporate Law and Corporate Governance.” Industrial and Corporate Change 5(2): 277–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Simon, Herbert. 1990. “Invariants of Human Behaviour.” Annual Review of Psychology 41(1): 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Solomon, Jill. 2013. Corporate Governance and Accountability. Vol. 4. Chichester, England: John Wiley.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© William Forbes and Lynn Hodgkinson 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Loughborough UniversityUK
  2. 2.Bangor Business SchoolUK

Personalised recommendations