While working on my Article I came across Oxford University’s Saïd Business School Professor Colin Mayer’s book Firm Commitment. I read a few reviews (here’s the Economist) that led me to believe I needed to read it before finishing up one of my larger sections. And so my weekend was born.
I absolutely recommend this book to those looking for a broad overview of the control-ownership issues in corporate governance. Mayer has his own recommendation, but even if you aren’t on board with it, you’ll walk away with a much stronger understanding of this important area. Especially helpful for me was both the discussion of corporate laws in other countries and the (too) brief introduction to the history of corporations in England. I’ll be looking into the relationship between the creation of corporations and the development of guilds, and later unions, soon.
My main complaint is perhaps the result of my own confusion: Mayer seems to occasionally argue that dispersed ownership is causally connected to the governance structure of a company, but I cannot see any necessary connection whatsoever with ownership and governance. In theory, you could have a public firm that is comprised of only non-voting stock… no? (think about dual class shares as a milder example)
Regardless, very happy I stumbled upon this book.