A Behavioral Theory of Corporate Governance: Explicating the Mechanisms of Socially Situated and Socially Constituted Agency

James D. Westphal, Edward J Zajac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We propose a behavioral theory of corporate governance based on an ontological foundation of socially situated and socially constituted agency. More specifically, we advance a multi-level, mechanism-based, theory of governance that is socially informed yet actor-centric, and thus offers a distinct alternative to under-socialized governance theories, such as agency theory. We highlight the contributions of recent governance research in providing the foundation for such a behavioral theory, with particular emphasis on our prior work that demonstrated the relevance of social structural relationships, institutional processes, and social cognition. We conclude with a discussion of the central themes that emerge from our perspective.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-661
Number of pages55
JournalAcademy of Management Annals
Volume7
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013

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