Business History and Risk 2003

University of Nottingham, March 2003

CARR, in association with the University of Nottingham Business History Institute, held a successful workshop on 'Corporate Governance' in March. The second of a series of interdisciplinary discussions, it brought together business historians, economists, accountants, management theorists and risk analysts to develop a broader and deeper understanding of a concept which has engaged the attention of policy makers, regulators and academics since the Cadbury report in the early 1990s. Michael Mayer (University of Glasgow) addressed the issue of corporate ownership, highlighting new developments in the pattern of ownership in European businesses. Mike Wright (University of Nottingham) examined new research on MBOs, focussing on the relationship between regulatory and entrepreneurial responses. Nick Tiratsoo (LSE) turned to British manufacturing since the Second World War, revealing a significant gap between the theoretical and the real in the management of such companies. Finally, Stefan Szymanski (Imperial College) spoke on the corporate governance issue in the professional football industry. Plumbing the murkier depths of the Premiership à la Tom Bower, he concluded that governance needs to be enhanced if it is to be effective in an industry where normal business rules are often suspended. The workshop concluded that meanings of 'corporate governance' can vary widely according to context. 'Corporate governance', therefore, requires precise definition if it is to be effective as an analytical tool.