Rethinking Corporate Governance
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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.
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Chapter 15: The impact of nature, occurrences, institutions and actor collectives on corporate paths

Sven-Erik Sjöstrand


The analysis of the extensive empirical material is divided into two parts, this one that ends with WWII, and one that starts with the 1950s and runs into the first decade of the 21st century. The basic reason behind that division is that the opportunities to obtain primary data erode with time, since the actors that were active as (major) shareholders, board members or CEOs before the second half of the 20th century were not around when the extensive primary data was collected (2004–08). Thus, primary data is available only for the period starting with WWII and ending about 50 years later (cf. Appendix). That observation implies that for the many decades preceding that period, the analysis has to rely on secondary data, and therefore some of the major issues that this study addresses cannot be discussed in depth. Instead, those analyses have to wait until Chapter 16. In the long period ending with WWII the available secondary sources allow for descriptions of most of the basic forces that influence corporate paths. However, it has not been easy to determine whether available secondary data actually provides a convincing picture regarding which individuals (and actions) were important for the formation of corporate paths during that time period.

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