Inside the black box: corporate laws and theories

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This article argues, first, that new theoretical ways of thinking about companies are coming to the fore and, second, that these new ways of thinking are finding their way into some aspects of company law and regulation. Snider's device of tracking the emergence of new ideas as `journey from academic journal to economic policy to law' is employed in support of the article's main argument. In particular, it is submitted that the idea of the firm as a `nexus of contracts' is being replaced by the idea of the firm as a `behavioural entity'. While management and economics theorists have gone `inside the black box' in order to ask different questions and produce better theories, the law has arrived there via a much more pragmatic route. However, recent developments in two areas of company law and regulation, corporate criminal responsibility in the UK and Australia and corporate governance in the UK, can be seen in terms of a move away from a focus on the individual decision maker and towards the concept of corporate culture.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)359-376
    Number of pages18
    JournalSocial & Legal Studies
    Volume12
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2003

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    company law
    corporate law
    firm
    regulation
    Law
    corporate governance
    Economic Policy
    decision maker
    pragmatics
    responsibility
    management
    economics

    Keywords

    • Corporate governance
    • Corporate criminal responsibility
    • Company law

    Cite this

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    title = "Inside the black box: corporate laws and theories",
    abstract = "This article argues, first, that new theoretical ways of thinking about companies are coming to the fore and, second, that these new ways of thinking are finding their way into some aspects of company law and regulation. Snider's device of tracking the emergence of new ideas as `journey from academic journal to economic policy to law' is employed in support of the article's main argument. In particular, it is submitted that the idea of the firm as a `nexus of contracts' is being replaced by the idea of the firm as a `behavioural entity'. While management and economics theorists have gone `inside the black box' in order to ask different questions and produce better theories, the law has arrived there via a much more pragmatic route. However, recent developments in two areas of company law and regulation, corporate criminal responsibility in the UK and Australia and corporate governance in the UK, can be seen in terms of a move away from a focus on the individual decision maker and towards the concept of corporate culture.",
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    Inside the black box: corporate laws and theories. / Belcher, Alice.

    In: Social & Legal Studies, Vol. 12, No. 3, 09.2003, p. 359-376.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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