Corporate Governance and Financial Performance

Topics: Stakeholder, Management, Stock market Pages: 3 (726 words) Published: July 14, 2011

Corporate governance is concerned with ways in which all parties interested in the well-being of the firm (the stakeholders) attempt to ensure that managers and other insiders take measures or adopt mechanisms that safeguard the interests of the stakeholders. Such measures are necessitated by the separation of ownership from management, an increasingly vital feature of the modern firm. A typical firm is characterized by numerous owners having no management function, and managers with no equity interest in the firm. Shareholders, or owners of equity, are generally large in number, and an average shareholder controls a minute proportion of the shares of the firm. This gives rise to the tendency for such a shareholder to take no interest in the monitoring of managers, who, left to themselves, may pursue interests different from those of the owners of equity. For example, the managers might take steps to increase the size of the firm and, often, their pay, although that may not necessarily raise the firm’s profit, the major concern of the shareholder.

Financial economists have long been concerned with ways to address this problem, which arises from the incongruence of the interests of the equity owners and managers, and have conducted significant research towards resolving it. The literature emanating from such efforts has grown, and much of the econometric evidence has been built on the theoretical works of Ross (1973), Jensen and Meckling (1976), and Fama (1980). At the initial levels of the development of the theory of agency, especially as it relates to the firm, concern seemed to focus more on the relationship between the management and shareholders than between them and other categories of stakeholders. The stakeholder theory has of late captured the attention of researchers and a survey of literature on this aspect of corporate finance can be found in the...
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