Background | Editors and Authors | Project partners | Nashville conference 2013 | Singapore conference 2014 | Related scholarship

Background

The aim of this project is the creation of a Research Handbook on Shareholder Power which will be published by Edward Elgar in 2014. This Research Handbook will examine the role of shareholders in the modern public corporation.

Written by scholars from around the world and from a variety of disciplines, the handbook will contain theoretical, historical, and empirical chapters and will examine the proper role of shareholders, the important types of shareholders, shareholder activism and the differing impact of shareholders in different countries.

The first section of the book will be dedicated to a close examination of the competing models of the proper role for shareholders in the public corporation. Three major theories will be discussed (including a historical analysis of shareholder power): the agency cost model of the corporation, the managerial power model and the team production model of the firm.

The second section will examine several different important categories of shareholders: institutional investors, hedge funds, control shareholders, and state ownership.  A third theme of the volume will relate to the agency cost model of the corporation, which will show that in a dispersed ownership system, such as in the USA, large, motivated shareholders can play an important role in reducing the agency costs of equity by closely monitoring the actions of corporate management.  Activist investors can use their voting powers, their power to file suit, and their power to sell their interests in the firm, to align more closely the interests of managers and shareholders.

The final section of the book will discuss the role of shareholders around the world.

The project's co-editors, Professor Jennifer Hill and Professor Randall Thomas, have invited a number of academics to author chapters of the book. These authors have been invited to present their chapters and get feedback from their fellow authors at two conferences. The first conference was held at Vanderbilt Law School in September 2013; the second takes place at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law in March 2014.

Funding

The project is funded by the Law and Business Program at Vanderbilt Law School and the National University of Singapore Centre for Law & Business.