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The cultural grammar of governance: The UK Code of Corporate Governance, reflexivity, and the limits of ‘soft’ regulation

Veldman, Jeroen and Willmott, Hugh 2016. The cultural grammar of governance: The UK Code of Corporate Governance, reflexivity, and the limits of ‘soft’ regulation. Human Relations 69 (3) , pp. 581-603. 10.1177/0018726715593160

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Abstract

We identify limits of ‘reflexive governance’ by examining the UK Code of Corporate Governance that is celebrated for its ‘reflexivity’. By placing the historical genesis of the Code within its politico-economic context, it is shown how its scope and penetration is impeded by a shallow, ‘single loop’ of reflexivity. Legitimized by agency theory, the Code is infused by a ‘cultural grammar’ that perpetuates relations of shareholder primacy as it restricts accountability to narrow forms of information disclosure directed exclusively at shareholders. Engagement of a deeper, ‘double loop’ reflexivity allows account to be taken of the historical conditions and theoretical conceptions that shape practices and outcomes of corporate governance. Only then is it possible to disclose, challenge and reform narrow conceptions, boundaries and workings of ‘reflexive governance’.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0018-7267
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 15:33
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/119158

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