Corporate governance reform: A social constructionist approach to recurring problems under agency theory's influence

Abstract

A shift in the cultural conception of the firm as productionsystem to that as investment-system entrenches the institutional logic of agency theory in governance reform. Reform initiatives emphasize the separation between management and the board, forensic reporting requirements, and the primacy of shareholders' entitlement to control and residual gains. Problems associated with this agency logic render reform unable to deliver a broad-based ethical operating environment. The introduction of a version of stakeholder theory, augmented by Knightian uncertainty, places the development of an alternative conception of the firm into discourse. Implications for governance reform are considered

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