DCC Research Seminar - Gerhard Schnyder - Loughborough University London
Minority Shareholder Protection in the Law and in Corporate Practice: Investigating New Types of “Decoupling” in the European Case1
Wednesday 14 March 2018 (12h15 - 13h45) - Anthropole - 3021
The study of decoupling – i.e. the discrepancies between formal policies and actual practices and outcomes – in organisation studies has seen a remarkable revival. After decades of many empirical studies, but little systematic theoretical development, the past decade has seen increasing refinement of the concept. Importantly, a distinction between policy-practice and means-ends decoupling has become widely-used. We argue that despite the progress made in theorising decoupling, the extant literature neglects a key feature of decoupling, namely that it is inherently a multi-level concept. Distinguishing explicitly the macro- (country) and the micro- (organisation) levels, we develop a more fine-grained categorisation of different types of policy-practice and means-ends decoupling. We hypothesis that differences in the macro-environment may influence the type and extent of decoupling that prevails in a given country. We test our hypotheses in the context of the adoption of legal minority shareholder protection in four European countries. We go beyond previous studies that have investigated policy-practice and means-end decoupling in the same context by using a unique dataset for firm-level corporate governance practices that allows us to investigate the multi-level nature of decoupling more directly. Our findings suggest that that decoupling is context specific and the extent to which policy-practice decoupling occurs may depend on a country’s legal style.