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Showing 9 of 130 Publications in Corporate Governance
Scholarship Abstract Core organization design issues have emerged in recent popular and influential discussions of managers and organizations, specifically in a genre of writing—the “bossless company . . .
Core organization design issues have emerged in recent popular and influential discussions of managers and organizations, specifically in a genre of writing—the “bossless company narrative”—that declares that the classic managerial hierarchy is dead. In this article, we review our critical discussion of this genre in our book, Why Managers Still Matter, arguing that the narrative manifests bad empiricism and half-baked organization theory. However, we also raise the possibility of a charitable reading of the genre: it points to themes in organization design theory that are currently underdeveloped, notably with respect to, for example, the impact of organizational structure and control on employee motivations and the importance of contingencies such as the characteristics of knowledge for organization design.
Scholarship Abstract “Woke” companies are those that are committed to socially progressive causes, with a particular focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion as these terms are . . .
“Woke” companies are those that are committed to socially progressive causes, with a particular focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion as these terms are understood through the lens of critical theory. There is little evidence of systematic support for woke ideas among executives and the population at large, and going woke does not appear to improve company performance. Why, then are so many firms embracing woke policies and attitudes? We suggest that going woke is an emergent strategy that is largely shaped by middle managers rather than owners, top managers, or employees. We build on theories from agency theory, institutional theory, and intra-organizational ecology to argue that wokeness arises from middle managers and support personnel using their delegated responsibility and specialist status to engage in woke internal advocacy, which may increase their influence and job security. Broader social and cultural trends tend to reinforce this process. We discuss implications for organizational behavior and performance including perceived corporate hypocrisy (“woke-washing”), the potential loss of creativity from restricting viewpoint diversity, and the need for companies to keep up with a constantly changing cultural landscape.
Popular Media On Nov.10, new Twitter Inc. owner Elon Musk reportedly told employees that bankruptcy was a possibility unless Twitter’s cash flow improved. But that cash flow . . .
On Nov.10, new Twitter Inc. owner Elon Musk reportedly told employees that bankruptcy was a possibility unless Twitter’s cash flow improved. But that cash flow already has been reduced considerably because advertisers are pulling away from Twitter.
Read the full piece here.
Scholarship Abstract Policymakers, commentators, and academics have called for a Great Reset, a deepseated overhaul of the organization of the global economy. Some suggest that management . . .
Policymakers, commentators, and academics have called for a Great Reset, a deepseated overhaul of the organization of the global economy. Some suggest that management theory needs a reset of its own. We argue that Great Reset proponents fail to appreciate the power of markets to bring about desirable social outcomes and are overly sanguine about what governments can do to alleviate alleged market failures. These views also drive the increasing enthusiasm for stakeholder governance, an increased government role in innovation, and the call for new metrics for assessing outcomes, all part of the Great Reset narrative. And yet, concentrating more decision power in the hands of governments, implementing diffuse metrics, and diluting effective ownership can hamper the functioning of markets, encourage crony capitalism, and reduce the resources that are available for dealing with grand challenges. Existing management theory provides powerful tools for understanding the benefits and costs of alternative institutional arrangements; abandoning these tools will push management theory to the sideline in policy debates.
Scholarship Abstract Academic investigators have used behavioural economics, a method developed originally to study consumers and their sentiments towards products, to study matters of public policy. . . .
Academic investigators have used behavioural economics, a method developed originally to study consumers and their sentiments towards products, to study matters of public policy. A recent article in the European Journal of International Law – ‘What Is Wrong with Investment Arbitration? Evidence from a Set of Behavioural Experiments’ – gives a detailed summary of a series of experiments performed in order to study public sentiment towards investment arbitration. The investigators, Maria Laura Marceddu and Pietro Ortolani observe that public sentiment improves towards the outcome of a dispute settlement procedure when survey respondents are told that the procedure was a ‘court’ with tenured judges, and it worsens when they are told that it was ‘arbitration’ with temporary appointees. From their observations, Marceddu and Ortolani conclude that an international investment court, such as that which the European Union promotes, is a good idea. We suggest, however, that a further inquiry should investigate in greater detail public understanding of what qualities the individuals who serve as judges or arbitrators ought to display, as distinct from the institutional format in which dispute settlement takes place.
Scholarship Abstract Cy près is a pivotal doctrine in estate law and indeed American jurisprudence. It places courts in the shoes of settlors of charitable trusts . . .
Cy près is a pivotal doctrine in estate law and indeed American jurisprudence. It places courts in the shoes of settlors of charitable trusts to discern not only their original intent but also affords the possibility of continuing the material purpose for which settlors created enduring legacies of philanthropy benefitting society. For this reason, it may well be that no other legal doctrine is as closely tied to the interests of the individual and the collective as cy près. And my first-of-its kind study puts the cy-près doctrine front and center, while providing three major contributions to the field.
First, through deliberative historical analysis, I offer an in-depth look at the types of cases American courts have heard involving the use of cy près. This historical categorization and explication is itself unique and provides significant insight into the controversies that allowed the doctrine to evolve. Second, the application of empirical methods to examine the doctrine is groundbreaking. By holistically examining the data I collected, I have been able to discern three major themes. The passage of time yields a gradual but greater adoption of the use of the cy-près doctrine. The presence of reversionary, gift-over, or private interests renders the use of the cy-près doctrine less practicable. And finally, courts are overwhelmingly more likely to apply cy près in cases involving public charitable trusts, educational purpose trusts, and medical purpose trusts, even when controlling for other independent variables and typologies of charitable trusts. Last, fifty-state surveys are commonplace; yet, none exists for the doctrine of cy près. I was able to assemble such a survey that not only assisted me in conducting this research but will undoubtedly aid other researchers for years to come, which I have addended to this Article in the Appendix.
Scholarship Abstract American corporations have a long history of carelessness and Caremark has made it difficult for shareholders to recover against them for it. In 2018, . . .
American corporations have a long history of carelessness and Caremark has made it difficult for shareholders to recover against them for it. In 2018, for example, the world discovered that Donald Trump had wrongfully collected the personal data of up to 87 million Facebook users. Facebook’s failure to address the unchecked collection and use of users’ data cost the company more than $50 billion in market capitalization alone. Despite clear losses, shareholder litigation has thus far been unsuccessful. The normal governmental response to such corporate failures of oversight is to saddle corporations with more federal oversight, even though this purely reactive behavior has consistently failed to curb corporate misconduct. The consequence for regulated firms is thus an ever-increasing cost of compliance with no marked change in behavior. Meanwhile, shareholders are left with few options for recovery because, in the face of asymmetrical information, there is insufficient evidence to meet onerous pleading requirements found in state and federal laws such as Caremark.
This Article proposes a better solution—the use of federal administrative determinations as presumptive evidence of corporate mismanagement. It describes the existing limitations of both SEC and common law-based protections in the context of shareholder derivative litigation for lapses in oversight, explores the factual commonalties of those plaintiffs that have been successful in this area, and proposes that Delaware can preempt corporate misbehavior, while reducing the need for more federal oversight, by relying on federal administrative fact-finding combined with the Caremark standard to promote shareholder successes in derivative litigation. Corporate law scholarship rarely acknowledges its intersection with administrative law. Thus, scholars have not considered the possibility that shareholders can easily rely on the determinations of federal agencies to establish evidence of a director’s failure of oversight under Caremark.
Popular Media When campaigning for his progressive income tax, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker argued it was needed to address “income inequality” and fund education and social services. . . .
When campaigning for his progressive income tax, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker argued it was needed to address “income inequality” and fund education and social services.
Although voters rejected the tax hike, Pritzker has succeeded in reducing income inequality without it. He did so by driving away the state’s wealthiest person.
Billionaire investor Ken Griffin and his family are moving to Florida.
Scholarship Abstract If a company misbehaves, lawsuits are one way of providing a remedy and encouraging that company and others to behave in the future. If . . .
If a company misbehaves, lawsuits are one way of providing a remedy and encouraging that company and others to behave in the future. If the misbehavior is securities fraud, there are two potential plaintiffs—traders allegedly injured by the fraud may bring a private suit, and the government (through the SEC or DOJ) may sue to enforce the public interest in truthful disclosures of corporate information. If the misbehavior is violations of corporate governance rules, however, only private suits are available. Despite the parallel rationales for marrying private and public attorneys general, the toolkit for protecting the public interest in corporate governance is not as well stocked. This essay imagines what a government cause of action might look like for alleged corporate governance wrongdoing. Many of the pathologies of current corporate governance litigation may be ameliorated by a state-based, public cause of action for breaches of fiduciary duty. Although not without downsides, putting Delaware’s Corporate Governance Police on the beat may improve the governance of American companies, while reducing the amount of vexatious litigation.