An Aristotelian Perspective
Chapter 8: Governance as Praxis
So far, we have gone through the diﬀerent political regimes described by Aristotle and we have seen how they apply to various corporate governance contexts. The time has come for us now to identify and expound on what could be the Stagirite’s main contribution to this ongoing discussion: the understanding of governance as a kind of an activity that comes under the name of praxis. In their work on the corporate governance practices in Flemish family businesses, Van den Berghe and Carchon (2002) designed a framework that could prove to be very helpful in our study. They distinguished among ﬁve diﬀerent perspectives from which the exercise of corporate governance could be analysed. Corporate governance could be understood at (1) the level of the board of directors, from (2) the so-called ‘corporate governance tripod’ that brings together shareholders, directors and management, from (3) the angle of a ﬁrm’s direct stakeholders, such as its employees, suppliers and customers, from (4) the viewpoint of a ﬁrm’s indirect stakeholders – that is, government, the environment and society at large – and ﬁnally, from (5) an all-encompassing global angle that accounts for the economic and legal systems apart from the culture, values and norms in which a business organization is embedded. The majority of studies concerning corporate governance focus exclusively on a single one of these levels, inadvertently ignoring the others which, nevertheless, could also be very signiﬁcant. Van den Berghe and Carchon’s framework possesses the additional merit of being quite intuitive or readily...
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