Centre for Accounting and Corporate Governance (CACG)
Main research areasCorporate governance issues arise from the separation between ownership and control which is an essential feature of advanced industrial economies. Traditionally, governance has focussed on ex post mechanisms by which company management are accountable to shareholders. These are the reporting of accounting measures of performance (by which management is directly accountable to shareholders) and the market for corporate control (by which the management of a company is open to competition from other managers). Issues were typically restricted to those of appropriate accounting standards and the effectiveness of the market for corporate control.
With the globalisation of capital markets the literature has expanded to the variation in governance structures across the world. Aspects such as the institutional environment, the legal system, the predominant culture and the organisational structure of corporations have now been recognised as important determinants of corporate governance. As a consequence, the discussion of corporate governance has become richer and more interdisciplinary. Issues now include: what is the process of governance failure? how should it be defined and how can it be predicted? how does governance impact on managers’ incentives? how can good governance be embedded in the organisation (in contrast to being imposed from without)? how is governance affected by cultural norms; and how does governance affect financial markets?
It is now increasingly necessary for governance research to take account of these many dimensions and a significant purpose of the centre will be to facilitate the integration of these different approaches. Four specialists in these issues (Davis, Skerratt, Liu and Georgellis) have been at Brunel since the late 1990s. With the appointment of another (Gregoriou) in 2003, and the expansion of the Economics Section of the School of Social Sciences at Brunel University, the opportunity has been taken to appoint a further specialist (Abou-Seada) to establish a research group that is contributing significantly to this field.
Our current staff members are interested in corporate governance issues related not just to the UK, but to the international environment as a whole. For instance Liu is an expert on corporate governance in China, while Gregoriou and Skerratt have undertaken research projects on corporate governance in Europe. We therefore want to progress on a broad geographical front, to analyse a number of crucial corporate governance issues with crucial policy implications. We anticipate being able to develop research links with international organisations in Europe and China, to provide a good co-operative working environment and to focus on external attention.
- Philip Davis
- Andros Gregoriou
- Guy Liu
- Len Skerratt