Corporate Governance after the Death of the King: The Origins of the Separation of Powers in Companies

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The separation of power in companies can be traced back to the sovereignty of the Kings. It first entered the stage with the chartered companies like the British East India Company. Their governance structure was based on the dualism of private investors and governors installed by the monarch. Companies survived the rise of democracy and demise of monarchy ensuing the age of enlightenment. They rose to glory in the modern world. Large listed companies are still are managed by independent entrepreneurial officers. But who took the place of the good king watching over them? The fall of the thrones left a vacuum here. This lies at the bottom of the debate on shareholder vs. stakeholder supremacy. If we understand history, we might see new ways to answer for whose benefit the company should be governed.
Translated title of the contributionCorporate Governance nach dem Tod des Königs: Die Ursprünge der kapitalgesellschaftsrechtlichen Gewaltenteilung
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Company and Financial Law Review
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)476-488
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 15.12.2011

    Research areas

  • Law