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Corporate Ownership and ControlBritish Business Transformed$
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Brian R. Cheffins

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199236978

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199236978.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 November 2020

Setting the Scene

Setting the Scene

(p.1) ONE Setting the Scene
Corporate Ownership and Control

Brian R. Cheffins

Oxford University Press

This chapter puts the historical analysis offered by the book into contemporary context. The reader will find out the UK differs from most other industrialized countries in that ownership (in the sense of ownership of shares) is separated from control (having the authority to manage) and that concerns about the adequacy of managerial accountability have dominated debates concerning corporate governance in the UK. While the relevant empirical data offers at best a partial picture of how ownership and control evolved over time, there is sufficient evidence to organize the chronology into distinct periods, around which Chapters 5 to 11 are organized. The chapter acknowledges that the book's treatment of relevant issues is not definitive but argues that the book offers readers various insights concerning the timing of the divorce between ownership and control, the multi-causal nature of the split, the law's role and the durability of current arrangements.

Keywords:   separation of ownership and control, agency costs, business history, comparative corporate governance, outsider/arm's-length corporate governance, share ownership data, buy side, sell side, blockholders

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