Is There Hope for Change? The Evolution of Conceptions of Good Corporate Governance


Lynne L. Dallas


Faculty editor: Lawrence A. Alexander
Publication: Law Review
Volume: 54
Issue: 3
Start Page: 491
Month: August
Year: 2017
Type: Article
Instititional Repository (IR) location of full article:


To provide a useful perspective on corporate governance today, this Article examines the evolution of conceptions of “good” corporate governance that have successively revolutionized the corporate landscape. By the use of “evolution,” I do not mean some natural evolution, but changes in the beliefs of managers concerning how to run their businesses effectively. “Good” corporate governance refers to what is perceived as good from the point of view of firm managers and may or may not translate into what is good for society. This Article shows that corporate decision making was influenced over the years by successive, rationalized ideals of good corporate governance. Changes in conceptions were precipitated by crises and environmental changes. They were reasoned, if often flawed, responses to complex macroeconomic forces, competitive conditions, regulations or the lack thereof, and other environmental factors. More importantly, they were reflections of the culture and thinking of the time, influenced by the views of successful business leaders, the business press, investors, and academics.