To do critical theory used to be fairly straightforward. The existing order of things – Global Capitalism, Consumer Society, Late Capitalism or State Monopoly Capitalism – could be criticized for its shortcomings in relation to an actually existing alternative. This alternative did not have to be fully realized to exist. It was enough that the ideas that it embodied (socialism, free love, authentic human relationships) moved the imaginations of a multitude of people for the alternative to be real (at least in the Hegelian sense of that term).
Issue Editors: Ulf Larsson Olaison, Andreas Jansson, Jeroen Veldman and Armin Beverungen
Corporate governance as an academic field was hardly present before the 1970s, but has since risen to prominence (Ireland, 2009) and has arguably become dominated by agency theory (Daily et al., 2003). In agency theory, ‘shareholder value’ is typically identified as the legitimate goal of the corporation, and the purpose of corporate governance here becomes to rectify deviations from this ideal (Jensen and Meckling, 1976). The definition of problems and the practical corporate governance solutions prescribed by agency theory have proven to be very effective for law and economics scholars to ‘converge’ upon (Hansmann and Kraakman, 2001) as a normative blueprint of what constitutes ‘good governance’ (Fligstein, 1993; Lazonick and O’Sullivan, 2000). They have also come to dominate adjacent disciplines such as accounting, strategic management and law (Whittington, 2008; Power, 2010). This ‘optimal’ view of the corporation and... more