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Article
Publication date: 12 November 2018

Ambareen Beebeejaun and Jushveer Koobloll

“Shareholder activism works when shareholders understand something about the characteristics of the business that the board doesn’t”. As complex the term shareholder…

Abstract

Purpose

“Shareholder activism works when shareholders understand something about the characteristics of the business that the board doesn’t”. As complex the term shareholder activism may seem, it demonstrates a very simple phenomenon of how shareholder take control of a situation to turn it in their favor. The whole world has taken an activism “twist” where every person has a word to say. The same characteristic of the society is showcased in this paper where engagement of shareholder is questioned whether it helps to promote effective corporate governance. Given the fact that Mauritius has a rather low shareholder activism framework, this research aims to depict the international picture of the issue at different levels to reach a consensus with the local market. It was a major challenge as very little research has been conducted to accurately contrast shareholder activism with corporate governance. However, the international standards aim at giving a clear picture of how the shareholder activism actually functions.

Design/methodology/approach

The research has adopted a black letter approach by analyzing relevant laws and legislations governing corporate governance matters in Mauritius and the USA, Malaysia, France and South Africa. Thereafter, a comparative analysis was made between Mauritius laws and the aforementioned countries. Recommendations were then put forward on the subject matter which is shareholder activism.

Findings

Research has shown development in corporate governance alongside the increase in shareholder activism. However, these research studies fail to prove that the development is because of shareholder activism itself. In fact, it could be because of increase in corporate intellects, removal of trade barriers, sustainable corporate practices and many such changes that have affected the corporate market somehow. Hence, it is difficult to conclude, with certainty, that the driver of good corporate governance is, in particular, the phenomenon of shareholder activism. Nevertheless, many result of shareholder activism has demonstrated a rather positive impact on the ongoing of the corporate dealings and on a personal note, it can be said that shareholder activism is a domain where much research and development should be effected as it represents a promising improvement in the way corporations are governed.

Originality/value

The concept of shareholder activism is quite new to the Mauritius legislation. There has not been research done on whether shareholder activism, particularly, is the reason for corporate success or failure. In this light, this paper aims to analyze shareholder activism practices in other countries and puts forward recommendation in the Mauritius context which may be of use to stakeholders concerned.

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Book part
Publication date: 10 June 2021

Eric Kwame Adae

This chapter offers an inquiry into the emerging phenomenon of corporate social advocacy, also known as CEO activism, in a non-Western sociocultural context. It addresses…

Abstract

This chapter offers an inquiry into the emerging phenomenon of corporate social advocacy, also known as CEO activism, in a non-Western sociocultural context. It addresses gaps in CEO activism research, including a dearth of non-Western contexts, dominance of modernist perspectives, and omission of female activist CEO voices. I apply alternative theoretical lenses of Caritas, Ubuntu, Africapitalism, and postmodernism to examine facets of CEO activism in Ghana. Data were collected through long interviews with 24 activist CEO men and women and data underwent hermeneutic phenomenological theme analysis. Findings suggest that CEO activism in Ghana is motivated by a range of factors previously not articulated in the literature on CEO activism. Brand activism typologies adequately describe the causes/issues advocated by activist CEOs in Ghana – as findings advance perspectives of non-Western society CEO activists. Hence, this chapter internationalizes the CEO activism phenomenon for the public relations literature while extending diversity, equality, and inclusion, sustainability, postmodern values, and insider activist perspectives to also include Caritas, Ubuntu philosophy, and Africapitalism.

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Public Relations for Social Responsibility
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-168-3

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Book part
Publication date: 15 December 2005

Dayo F. Gore

This article examines the early post-World War II civil rights organizing of black women radicals affiliated with the organized left. It details the work of these women in…

Abstract

This article examines the early post-World War II civil rights organizing of black women radicals affiliated with the organized left. It details the work of these women in such organizations as the Civil Rights Congress and Freedom newspaper as they fought to challenge the unjust conviction and sentencing of black defendants caught in the racial machinations of U.S. local and state criminal justice systems. These campaigns against what was provocatively called “legal lynching” formed a cornerstone of African American civil rights activism in the early postwar years. In centering the civil rights politics and organizing of these black women radicals, a more detailed picture emerges of the Communist Party-supported anti-legal lynching campaigns. Such a perspective moves beyond a view of civil rights legal activism as solely the work of lawyers, to examining the ways committed activists within the U.S. left, helped to build this legal activism and sustain an important left base in the U.S. during the Cold War.

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Crime and Punishment: Perspectives from the Humanities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-245-0

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Book part
Publication date: 21 October 2013

Hanne Søndergaard Birkmose and Therese Strand

Purpose – Institutional investors are facing increased pressure and threats of legislation from the European Union to abandon passive ownership…

Abstract

Purpose – Institutional investors are facing increased pressure and threats of legislation from the European Union to abandon passive ownership strategies. This chapter investigates the legal prerequisites for active ownership among institutional investors in two Scandinavian countries to highlight differences in the legal framework that potentially account for apparent dissimilarities in the practice of shareholder activism.

Design/methodology/approach – Data on shareholder proposals from Danish and Swedish annual general meetings from 2006 throughout 2010 suggest that institutional investors are approximately a thousand times more active in Sweden than in Denmark.

Findings – The comparative study of the legal framework for shareholder activism shows diminutive legal distance in general, however, we find that the shareholder-based nomination committee employed in Sweden constitutes an exception. This is relevant, as such a setup transfers power from the board of directors to the owners. Presumably, this reduces the impact of free-rider and collective action problems, and increases the shareholders’ inclination to make proposals, which is also what we find. Moreover, we find other differences in the legal framework that support the transfer of power to the owners.

Research implications – We contribute to literature by investigating the importance of local governance mechanisms created by the legal framework – an area where research is scarce. The chapter discusses how two classical theoretical dilemmas – free-rider problems and collective action problems among shareholders – can be reduced by the implementation of local corporate governance elements.

Originality/value – The chapter outlines the actual practice of shareholder activism, in terms of proposals, in Denmark and Sweden, and highlights divergent legal elements which theoretically transfer power to the shareholders. Thus, regulators should be aware of the impact by local governance mechanisms, and how shareholders react under different legal prerequisites.

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Institutional Investors’ Power to Change Corporate Behavior: International Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-771-9

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Book part
Publication date: 21 October 2013

Nathalie Del Vecchio and Carine Girard

Purpose – This chapter presents the results of an exploratory study carried out on activist institutional investor strategies. It aims to identify the…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter presents the results of an exploratory study carried out on activist institutional investor strategies. It aims to identify the way in which different types of institutional investors are reacting to new institutional pressures in the French context.

Design/methodology/approach – Our methodology is based on a series of semi-directive interviews, combined with additional relevant data.

Findings – The interpretation of results makes use of institutional theory, more specifically the work of Oliver (1991). Our study shows that active institutional investors may opt for different responses when confronted with new institutional pressures, and that these responses would seem to depend on antecedents underlined by Ryan and Schneider (2002), which in turn depend on the nature of their business relationships with the firm in which they invest. Whereas pressure-sensitive investors (such as banks and insurance companies) generally adopt acquiescence responses, pressure-resistant investors (such as pension funds and investment funds) pursue joint strategies of co-optation, influence or control with key actors such as local and international proxy advisors and French investor associations. Acting conjointly, certain pressure-resistant investors are often considered as institutional entrepreneurs in that they initiate changes and actively participate in the implementation of new norms in the field of shareholder activism in the French context. In parallel to this ongoing professionalization, other pressure-resistant investors such as activist hedge funds seem to lack sufficient legitimate power to be effective.

Originality/value – This chapter illustrates that the level of institutional investor activism depends largely on the relevant national legal framework. It also shows how institutional investor coalitions take advantage of new institutional pressures to enhance their legitimacy or increase the effectiveness of their action.

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Institutional Investors’ Power to Change Corporate Behavior: International Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-771-9

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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2019

Denis Primakov

The status of government’s legal adviser in Israel is complicated and controversial. This status deeply impacts discretion and independence, especially in the role of…

Abstract

Purpose

The status of government’s legal adviser in Israel is complicated and controversial. This status deeply impacts discretion and independence, especially in the role of combating corruption. This article aims to review the status, power and independence of the government’s legal adviser and his/her interaction with other legal institutions dealing with corruption cases.

Design/methodology/approach

The author argues that the period of the 1980s, in Israel, was characterized by prosecution’s activism because of the dramatically increased number of corruption-related cases.

Findings

Prominent government legal advisers formulated approaches to the struggle against political corruption in Israel; upon becoming justices of the supreme court, they successfully transited their prosecution mindset to judicial activism (and not only for corruption-related cases).

Originality/value

This article discovers a linkage between prosecution and judicial positions, not under the Israeli legislation but based on personal willingness to combat corruption.

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Book part
Publication date: 20 August 2012

R. Daniel Kelemen

This article examines the four primary discourses of judging that dominate discussion of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and its role in the process of European…

Abstract

This article examines the four primary discourses of judging that dominate discussion of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and its role in the process of European integration. These discourses present sharply contrasting views of what the Court does and what role it plays in the EU's legal system. The article argues that these conflicting discourses are not merely rival depictions of the ECJ, but that they have also influenced the process of European legal integration – and not always in the ways those voicing them intended.

Details

Special Issue: The Discourse of Judging
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-871-7

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Book part
Publication date: 9 December 2009

Joshua C. Wilson

Taking both an event-centered and a process approach to cause lawyering, the chapter asks: (1) if, when, and how working with movements can lead to one being functionally…

Abstract

Taking both an event-centered and a process approach to cause lawyering, the chapter asks: (1) if, when, and how working with movements can lead to one being functionally seen as a cause lawyer and (2) whether researchers should include “hired gun” and state attorneys in the cause lawyering conversation. These questions are addressed by seeing how various cause lawyer qualities are exhibited by a range of attorneys involved in anti-abortion protest regulation cases. The research suggests that reasons exist to view previously excluded attorneys through the cause lawyering lens, and to continue pursuing the cause lawyer qualities discussed here.

Details

Studies in Law, Politics and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-696-0

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Article
Publication date: 7 April 2020

Carine Girard and Stephen Gates

This paper aims to demonstrate that state shareholders are confronted with contradictory logics leading to institutional contradictions that activist shareholders can…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to demonstrate that state shareholders are confronted with contradictory logics leading to institutional contradictions that activist shareholders can exploit. The competing logics of the state as shareholder and their impact on corporate governance and shareholder activism offer fertile grounds for research advances in Coordinated Market Economies (CMEs).

Design/methodology/approach

Through an extensive literature review of state ownership, institutional contradictions and shareholder activism, this paper analyzes two case studies involving the French State as shareholder.

Findings

In the French context, these two cases illustrate how institutional contradictions result in opportunities for shareholder activism. By focusing on the institutional contradictions of the state shareholder, this investigation suggests a need for experimental research to observe how shareholder activists adapt to each institutional change in CMEs. This experimentation can help policymakers to avoid creating additional conditions that shareholder activists can exploit.

Research limitations/implications

This focuses only on France and its state shareholdings. To generalize results, studies of other CMEs and state shareholders are needed.

Practical implications

Policymakers should consider all legislative proposals for their potential to deviate from corporate governance practice by experimenting with them in a laboratory setting. Shareholder activists can compare state shareholders’ actions against the state’s legislation to emphasize institutional contradictions that counter minority shareholders’ rights.

Originality/value

This research is the first to analyze how the state as shareholder can exploit its competing logics to resist against shareholder activism and support management or to become itself a shareholder activist.

Details

Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2013

Salar Ghahramani

The purpose of this paper is to examine the propensity of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) for shareholder activism and their potential impact on corporate governance.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the propensity of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) for shareholder activism and their potential impact on corporate governance.

Design/methodology/approach

The study highlights the relationships between SWFs and corporate governance and also applies eight antecedents/determinants of institutional activism to analyze whether SWFs have a predisposition for shareholder activism.

Findings

The study only finds two instances of SWF activism. Additionally, it finds that despite their mostly passive investments, SWFs possess a natural tendency toward shareholder activism. Some are more likely to engage in activism than others, however. SWFs with a higher proportion of their assets invested in equities, those with portfolios fully or partially constructed to emulate the broader financial markets through indexing, and those that depend less on external fund managers are the likeliest candidates for activism. The study also finds that the regulatory environment can curb the natural SWF inclination for activist behavior.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the lack of transparency within the SWF universe, this study largely depends on the limited data available for sovereign wealth funds.

Practical implications

Given the growing importance of SWFs, managers, directors, and policymakers must assess SWF activism, its influence on corporate governance, and its implications for public policy deliberations.

Originality/value

This project, to the best of the author's knowledge, is the first study that applies tested financial models to SWFs in order to determine if they have inherent activist tendencies.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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