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Shareholder democracies? [electronic resource] : corporate governance in Britain and Ireland before 1850 /
Mark Freeman, Robin Pearson, and James Taylor.
imprint
Chicago ; London : University of Chicago Press, c2012.
description
xiv, 339 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0226261875 (alk. paper), 9780226261874 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Chicago ; London : University of Chicago Press, c2012.
isbn
0226261875 (alk. paper)
9780226261874 (alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
The joint-stock company and its environment, 1720-1850 -- Company formation -- Constitutional rights and governance practice: the executive -- Constitutional rights and governance practice: the proprietorship -- The franchise and general meeting -- Limited liability and company dissolution -- Transparency and accountability.
catalogue key
11565243
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [299]-322) and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
"It is a remarkable fact that the years that saw the Industrial Revolution flourish in Britain were a time when British company law was relatively unfriendly to the needs of many entrepreneurs. Does this mean that British law and politics didn't matter? Analyzing the impact of these forces requires an understanding of how firms were actually organized, and how the legal framework within which they operated shaped their development. . . . This is exactly what Mark Freeman, Robin Pearson and James Taylor have done for Shareholder Democracies? . . . A valuable contribution to the study of the history of the company in Britain."
"It is a remarkable fact that the years that saw the Industrial Revolution flourish in Britain were a time when British company law was relatively unfriendly to the needs of many entrepreneurs. Does this mean that British law and politics didn't matter? Analyzing the impact of these forces requires an understanding of how firms were actually organized, and how the legal framework within which they operated shaped their development. . . . This is exactly what Mark Freeman, Robin Pearson and James Taylor have done for their book Shareholder Democracies? . . . The book is a valuable contribution to the study of the history of the company in Britain."
"Shareholder Democracies? is a path-breaking and important work, transforming our knowledge of British and Irish companies in the decades before the Companies Acts made the corporate form available by simple registration. . . . It offers a revealing counterpoint to recent articles by Colleen Dunlavy, Eric Hilt, Richard Sylla, Robert Wright, and others on early US corporations."
"Shareholder Democracies? reconstructs in rich detail the early stages of industrialization, when money and voting intersected against the backdrop of an uncertain legal framework and a thriving culture of political participation among middle-class investors. The authors add impressive archival breadth and depth to what we thought we knew about the timing and contours of 'joint-stock politics' up to 1850--including the wide variety of corporate constitutions, the numerous arrangements for electing boards, and the increasingly inadequate strategies for rendering boards accountable once elected."
"Shareholder Democracies? reconstructs in rich detail the early stages of industrialization, when money and voting intersected against the backdrop of an uncertain legal framework and a thriving culture of political participation among middle-class investors. The authors add impressive archival breadth and depth to what we thought we knew about the timing and contours of 'joint-stock politics' up to 1850-including the wide variety of corporate constitutions, the numerous arrangements for electing boards, and the increasingly inadequate strategies for rendering boards accountable once elected."
"Shareholder Democracies? reconstructs in rich detail the early stages of industrialization, when money and voting intersected against the backdrop of an uncertain legal framework and a thriving culture of political participation among middle-class investors. The authors add impressive archival breadth and depth to what we thought we knew about the timing and contours of 'joint-stock politics' up to 1850-including the wide variety of corporate constitutions, the numerous arrangements for electing boards, and the increasingly inadequate strategies for rendering boards accountable once elected."-Timothy Alborn, author of Regulated Lives: Life Insurance and British Society 1800-1914
" Shareholder Democracies? rests upon an impressive empirical foundation enriched by the authors' extensive acquaintance with business historiography. Through explication of many nuances and fine distinctions of company policies and practices across Ireland, Scotland, and Britain, Mark Freeman, Robin Pearson, and James Taylor address fundamental issues of internal distribution of power in companies, in particular the practical, bureaucratic, and legal divergence of managerial control from shareholder rights especially evident in large companies."
" Shareholder Democracies? rests upon an impressive empirical foundation enriched by the authors' extensive acquaintance with business historiography. Through explication of many nuances and fine distinctions of company policies and practices across Ireland, Scotland, and Britain, Mark Freeman, Robin Pearson, and James Taylor address fundamental issues of internal distribution of power in companies, in particular the practical, bureaucratic, and legal divergence of managerial control from shareholder rights especially evident in large companies. While the scope and purpose of the book do not allow for investigating the role personal leadership, labor markets, or technology played in shaping corporate governance, it clearly demonstrates that the intersection of law, political trends, and risk with corporate governance up to 1844 constituted an important chapter in the history of human association. The book is also a timely investigation of issues relevant to contemporary battles over corporate regulation and risk management, shareholder rights, and government oversight."
"The struggle over political representation in Britain is more than the well-known story of parliamentary reform culminating in the Great Reform Act of 1832. It was about representation in a plethora of bodies, such as charities or improvement commissions that responded to the problems of an urban and industrial nationand, as this excellent book shows, it was also about representation in joint-stock companies. The findings will be of great interest not only to business historians interested in corporate governance in the Industrial Revolution, but to anyone interested in wider issues of power and representation in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. This book is a major contribution to the debate over what kind of democracy is needed within a capitalist economy."
"The struggle over political representation in Britain is more than the well-known story of parliamentary reform culminating in the Great Reform Act of 1832. It was about representation in a plethora of bodies, such as charities or improvement commissions that responded to the problems of an urban and industrial nation-and, as this excellent book shows, it was also about representation in joint-stock companies. The findings will be of great interest not only to business historians interested in corporate governance in the Industrial Revolution, but to anyone interested in wider issues of power and representation in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. This book is a major contribution to the debate over what kind of democracy is needed within a capitalist economy."-Martin Daunton, University of Cambridge
"This is a well-written book and a pleasure to read, with fascinating anecdotes interspersed with factual information. It fills a large gap in the literature and links the work carried out on early eighteenth-century companies with the much larger literature on post-1850 corporate governance."
"Truly impressive. Mark Freeman, Robin Pearson, and James Taylor have mined a wealth of sources in an extraordinary number of repositories to offer an unparalleled wealth of historical detail. Shareholder Democracies? represents a quantum leap in our knowledge of the governance of early joint-stock companies in Britain and Ireland from the early eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth century, and it will have strong appeal both to historians and contemporary analysts of corporate governance."
"Truly impressive. Mark Freeman, Robin Pearson, and James Taylor have mined a wealth of sources in an extraordinary number of repositories to offer an unparalleled wealth of historical detail. Shareholder Democracies? represents a quantum leap in our knowledge of the governance of early joint-stock companies in Britain and Ireland from the early eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth century, and it will have strong appeal both to historians and contemporary analysts of corporate governance."-Colleen Dunlavy, University of WisconsinMadison
"Truly impressive. Mark Freeman, Robin Pearson, and James Taylor have mined a wealth of sources in an extraordinary number of repositories to offer an unparalleled wealth of historical detail. Shareholder Democracies? represents a quantum leap in our knowledge of the governance of early joint-stock companies in Britain and Ireland from the early eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth century, and it will have strong appeal both to historians and contemporary analysts of corporate governance."Colleen Dunlavy, University of WisconsinMadison
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This comprehensive account of the development of corporate governance in Britain and Ireland during its earliest stages highlights the role of political factors in shaping the evolution of corporate governance as well as the important debates that arose about the division of authority and responsibility.
Main Description
Understanding the challenges of corporate governance is central to our comprehension of the economic dynamics driving corporations today. Among the most important institutions in capitalism today, corporations and joint-stock companies had their origins in Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. And as they became more prevalent, the issue of internal governance became more pressing. At stake-and very much contested-was the allocation of rights and obligations among shareholders, directors, and managers. This comprehensive account of the development of corporate governance in Britain and Ireland during its earliest stages highlights the role of political factors in shaping the evolution of corporate governance as well as the important debates that arose about the division of authority and responsibility. Political and economic institutions confronted similar issues, including the need for transparency and accountability in decision making and the roles of electors and the elected, and this book emphasizes how political institutions-from election procedures to assemblies to annual reporting-therefore provided apt models upon which companies drew readily. Filling a gap in the literature on early corporate economy, this book provides insight into the origins of many ongoing modern debates.
Main Description
Understanding the challenges of corporate governance is central to our comprehension of the economic dynamics driving corporations today. Among the most important institutions in capitalism today, corporations and joint-stock companies had their origins in Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. And as they became more prevalent, the issue of internal governance became more pressing. At stakeand very much contestedwas the allocation of rights and obligations among shareholders, directors, and managers. This comprehensive account of the development of corporate governance in Britain and Ireland during its earliest stages highlights the role of political factors in shaping the evolution of corporate governance as well as the important debates that arose about the division of authority and responsibility. Political and economic institutions confronted similar issues, including the need for transparency and accountability in decision making and the roles of electors and the elected, and this book emphasizes how political institutionsfrom election procedures to assemblies to annual reportingtherefore provided apt models upon which companies drew readily. Filling a gap in the literature on early corporate economy, this book provides insight into the origins of many ongoing modern debates.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Abbreviationsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
The Joint-Stock Company and Its Environment, 1720-1850p. 20
Company Formationp. 39
Constitutional Rights and Governance Practice: The Executivep. 77
Constitutional Rights and Governance Practice: The Proprietorshipp. 108
The Franchise and the General Meetingp. 143
Limited Liability and Company Dissolutionp. 179
Transparency and Accountabilityp. 211
Conclusionp. 240
Notesp. 255
Select Bibliographyp. 299
Indexp. 323
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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