Governors and directors : Competing models of corporate governance. / Shah, Neeta; Napier, Christopher.

In: Accounting History, 02.10.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

E-pub ahead of print




Why do we use the term ‘corporate governance’ rather than ‘corporate direction’? Early British joint stock companies were normally managed by a single ‘governor’. The ‘court of governors’ or ‘board of directors’ emerged slowly as the ruling body for companies. By the nineteenth century, however, companies were typically run by directors while not-for-profit entities such as hospitals, schools and charitable bodies had governors. The nineteenth century saw steady refinement of the roles of company directors, often in response to corporate scandals, with a gradual change from the notion of the director as a ‘representative shareholder’ to the directors being seen collectively as ‘representatives of the shareholders’. Governors in not-for-profit entities, however, were regarded as having broader responsibilities. The term ‘governance’ itself suggests that corporate boards should be studied as ‘political’ entities rather than merely through economic lenses such as agency theory.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
JournalAccounting History
Early online date2 Oct 2018
StateE-pub ahead of print - 2 Oct 2018
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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