Co-operation and Outsourcing in the Global Economy
New Perspectives on the Modern Corporation series
Edited by Mario Morroni
Chapter 2: The Stakeholder Corporate Governance View Revisited
1 Mirella Damiani INTRODUCTION 2.1 New theories of the ﬁrm suggest ‘an alternative view in which the relationships among the people who participate in the production activity of ﬁrms are at the heart of the deﬁnition of the ﬁrm itself’ (Blair 1995). Along similar lines, a broader deﬁnition of the ﬁrm as a nexus of speciﬁc physical and human capital investments has been recently proposed by Rajan and Zingales (1998, 2001). In this broader view the ownership of physical assets is not the only source of authority and an alternative mechanism to allocate power and to motivate speciﬁc human capital investments may be identiﬁed: access, that is, ‘the ability to use, or work with, a critical resource’ (Rajan and Zingales (1998, p. 388). But this novel view has not yet fully ‘crystallized’ in terms of an alternative deﬁnition of corporate governance. Even if the relevance of human capital is commonly accepted, only limited research systematically explores the related implications in terms of corporate governance institutions.2 This chapter is an attempt to examine the interplay of labour relations and corporate governance mechanisms prevailing in some varieties of capitalism around the world. This will be done by ﬁrstly reconsidering the role of the market for corporate control and, secondly, labour incentives, two main pillars of corporate governance. Both the perspectives will lead to examine the principal agent problem in an integrated framework where the position of labour as a stakeholder plays an increasing crucial role and...
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