Contestation over board design and development of UK corporate governance

Authors: Nordberg, D.

Start date: 6 September 2016

For almost 25 years, UK corporate governance has been guided by an evolving code of practice. This paper examines the processes and debate during codification, starting with Cadbury in 1992, and then subsequent versions written in response to crises. Focusing on one contested issue, board design, and through a close reading of contributions to the consultations, the analysis shows the process had three outcomes: embedding power with central actors and creating a community of governance that legitimated disparate actors. However, it failed to engage emerging voices in a rapidly changing market context, raising questions over its likelihood to retain legitimacy.

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