Responsible Ownership, Shareholder Value and the New Shareholder Activism

Hendry, John, Sanderson, Paul, Barker, Richard and Roberts, John (2007) Responsible Ownership, Shareholder Value and the New Shareholder Activism. Competition and Change, 11 (3). pp. 223-240.


In this paper we use interview data to explore the 'new shareholder activism' of mainstream UK institutional investors. We describe contemporary practices of corporate governance monitoring and engagement and how they vary across institutions, and explore the motivations behind them. Existing studies of shareholder activism mainly assume that it is motivated by a desire to maximise shareholder value, and we find some evidence both of this and of alternative political/moral motivations related to ideas of responsible ownership. We conclude, however, that in the current situation both these act primarily as rationalisations rather than as genuine motivators. The main driving force behind the new shareholder activism is the institutions' own profit maximisation and the need to position themselves against competitor institutions in the context of political and regulatory changes that have significantly changed the non-financial expectations of their clients.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: corporate governance, institutional investors, shareholder value, stock market, accounting
Subject(s): Accounting
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2013 09:44
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2018 09:56
Funders: N/A

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