Rethinking Corporate Governance

Rethinking Corporate Governance

The Forming of Operative and Financial Strategies in Global Corporations

Sven-Erik Sjöstrand

Rethinking Corporate Governance’s extensive and insightful empirical investigation offers a radically new approach to corporate governance. This ground-breaking volume describes and analyses the key nature-based and actor-based forces that ultimately determine corporate governance processes and long-term corporate paths. Generally, such forces work in complex and intricate interplays that to a large extent vary among corporations. The author argues that actions taken by individuals have a special status among those forces, as they not only generate impact in themselves, but also involve interpretations of the possible effects of all the other forces. Among those actions, the ones taken by the shareholders stand out as particularly decisive both for the governance processes as such and for how corporations develop over time.

Chapter 4: Before World War I

Sven-Erik Sjöstrand

Subjects: business and management, corporate governance, international business, strategic management, economics and finance, corporate governance


16 June 1288 was the day when a Swedish bishop, Peter, acquired about one-eighth of Kopparberget – an estate with mills, arable land, pastures, fishing-waters and forests. At the time, the Swedish aristocracy, including the King, owned Kopparberget, so all of them signed the sales agreement. The original document unambiguously describes the traded unit as a ‘company’, making Kopparberget (later renamed Bergslaget, Stora Kopparbergs Bergslag, Stora and Stora Enso) the oldest one still existing in the world. The use of the Swedish forests by private persons had been regulated at least since the 16th century by way of several regulations from the statutes of 1542 (during the era of the Swedish king Gustav Vasa) to the rather detailed legislation of 1734. Before that, far into the 16th century, any piece of land was ‘owned’ by the one who settled down on it and was able to defend the taking. The state’s organized presence in the Swedish forest sector started in 1638, when its National Forestry Office (Riksjagmastarambetet) was founded to watch over the crown forest areas and other public forests.

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