Does Corporate Governance Shape Inequality?
Corporate governance is concerned with how stakeholders influence corporate decision making, but also an integral part of the wider social and political institutions associated with different “varieties of capitalism”. Given the dramatic changes over the last decade around executive compensation or new strategies oriented toward shareholder-value and, a critical question remains: does corporate governance influence patterns and outcomes related to social inequality? Drawing on relational approaches to inequality, this presentation will examine previously neglected inequality generating mechanisms embedded in corporate governance at several levels: individual (e.g. shareholders and employees), organizational (e.g. competing governance models), societal (e.g. embedding of risks within wider social welfare institutions), and transnational (e.g. location of work in different institutional settings). Based on recent theoretical work and empirical illustrations, corporate governance is shown to constitute an important new research agenda that complements existing approaches to inequality with a focus on new landscape of globalization and financial instability facing Europe today.
Gregory Jackson is Professor of Management, Chair of Human Resource Management and Labor Politics at the Institute for Management, Freie Universität Berlin.