Follow the instructions to do the work.



Essay: Theories of Corporate Governance

‘…shareholder theory is in itself a sound theory and it is likely that some executives following this theory, rightly or wrongly, have brought disrepute to it. The stakeholder theoretical framework, on the other hand, has yet to assert its influence. It has not managed to supplant shareholder theory because the concept is not yet unambiguously defined, which makes it difficult for the framework to become operational in practical business settings’ (Tse, 2011).

Critically evaluate the appropriateness of shareholder theory and stakeholder theory as frameworks for corporate governance. Comment on which is the most suitable. You should make reference to both the paper by Tse (2011) and other academic literature.

Essential Reading:

Tse, T. (2011) Shareholder and stakeholder theory: after the financial crisis.
Qualitative Research in Financial Markets, 3(1) pp.51-63.

Recommended Readings:

· Amis, J., Barney, J., Mahoney, J.T. & Wang, H. (2020) Why we need a theory of stakeholder governance – and why this is a hard problem.
Academy of Management Review, 45(3) pp.499-503.

· Donaldson, T. & Preston, L.E. (1995) The stakeholder theory of the corporation: Concepts, evidence, and implications.
Academy of Management Review, 20(1) pp.60-91.

· Letza, S., Xiuping, S. &Kirkbride, J. (2004) Shareholding Versus Stakeholding: a critical review of corporate governance. Corporate Governance 12(3) pp.242-262.

· Tse, T. (2011) Shareholder and stakeholder theory: after the financial crisis.
Qualitative Research in Financial Markets, 3(1) pp.51-63.

*you are expected to read beyond these papers – further readings are available on the course reading list. Students are also expected to source additional readings independently.


· Constitutes
30% of your total mark for this module

· Submit electronically via blackboard.

· Deadline: Wednesday 9th November @ 11.45 am

1500 words (+/- 10%)


You are reminded that unacknowledged direct copying from the work of another person, or the close paraphrasing of someone else’s work, is called
plagiarism and is
a serious offence – equated with cheating in examinations. This applies to copying both from other students’ work and from published sources such as books, reports or journal articles. Be careful therefore to provide suitable referencing, and take some time to carefully read the School’s guidelines on plagiarism.

Writing Essays

This section offers you some guidance on how to write essays. It is not intended as a complete and exhaustive guide. You will also find lots of useful information to help you with your writing in the University Academic Skills Centre which you are strongly advised to consult for further guidance. If you would like to discuss the essay topic before writing, or completing, your essay, then arrange to do so in good time with your lecturer.

Reading – Do your reading well before the date on which the essay is due. This will give you the time to absorb the readings and to think about the issues raised. It will also make it more likely that you will find the sources you need. An essay which shows limited reading will receive a low mark.

You will typically be provided with a reading list, but this should be used as a starting point for your reading and you will be expected to do some independent research for other sources. If you do not know how to find a reference, ask for assistance in the Library. If you still have difficulty in getting the books, see your tutor or lecturer. Many students find the World Wide Web a useful source of material. However, there are two important weaknesses in this resource which students often ignore. First, while the web is an excellent source of factual material it is an extremely weak source for analytical material. The web is an unmediated forum and therefore the material on it has rarely undergone any form of peer review, or other form of quality control. Second, essays are designed to encourage critical awareness and thinking among students yet the web again encourages students to adopt a journalistic and descriptive rather than analytical approach.

Quotations – You are generally expected to report in your own words the results of your reading and reflection, though you may make a short quotation from a reading in order to comment on it. If you do quote from others’ work then you must use quotation marks, and say where the quotation comes from. It is dishonest to quote someone else without giving them the credit. Ideas and views of authors whose work is cited should be acknowledged in the text and a full reference given in the bibliography. An essay consisting of little more than a series of quotations from others’ work will receive a poor mark however good an answer it provides to the question.

Structure – Form and content of an essay are inseparable. Whatever your argument, how you present it is as important as what you have to say.

An essay should not be a list of facts, figures and data. Facts and/or events may be important, but they do not by themselves analyse the proposition set out in the title.

Arguments must follow on from one another and any analysis of facts, data or views must rest on a clear explanation of the problems or themes you wish to examine. The reader should effortlessly be able to follow your argument and have a clear perception of your point of view on the issues you are discussing. An essay that lacks a clear scheme of approach will be weaker than one that immediately sets out its aims and intentions and clarifies its methods. The latter engender confidence that the writer knows what they are doing and has something to say.

Some essay topics may give the impression of inviting you to participate in a broad discussion on important issues about which you feel strongly. Naturally we are happy that you should set your discussion within a broader social context. However, do not lose sight of the purpose of these essays, which is for you to make economic arguments about the set topics.

There is no rigid formula for the structure of an essay, but one possibility is as follows:


· clearly identify the central issues raised by the questions and explain the crucial concepts in it;

· explain why these issues are important and/or of interest;

· indicate the position you will be adopting in the essay; and

· briefly anticipate the conclusions that you make.

Main body of the essay:

· after the Introduction, a brief ‘Literature Survey’ should establish the context of your topic in terms of the key debates in the literature;

· deal thoroughly with the issues raised in the question;

· analyse the problem and develop your arguments in a rigorous way, using and referring to, whenever appropriate, the relevant strands of the theory that you have studied. It is important that your arguments have a theoretical underpinning drawn from the relevant literature;

· base your analysis on the available evidence and critically evaluate the ability of the theory to explain what emerges from the data;

· state clearly what position it is that you are adopting, give your reasons for doing so and, if possible, your reasons for rejecting other conflicting points of view: do not be afraid of expressing your opinions (you may even want to challenge the assumptions of the question itself!), but always support them with motivating arguments; and

· whenever appropriate, you may want to incorporate diagrams or equations into your essay as convenient ways of transmitting a large amount of information that would otherwise require lots of words. However, if you do so, remember to label your axes and curves, draw your diagrams a reasonable size (at least 15cm square), and define any variables used in the equations. Do not add a diagram or equation to your essay just for the sake of it – if it’s there use it and refer to it.


· summarise the main points of your argument referring back to the main body of the essay;

· refer to the original reason given as to why the topic is important and any policy conclusions that may follow from the work; and

· conclude with the main or central point that you want to make with regard to the essay question. The conclusion is very important – it is the last impression of your essay the reader has, so attend to it fully.


You can use appendices for expanding issues that are important but not central to your argument. If you have made use of data, then a data appendix listing the sources of all data must be included and be of sufficient detail that the reader could obtain the same data from the information in the data appendix alone.


Always provide a list of references at the end of your essay, arranged by author, in alphabetical order. There are different ways of listing references, and it does not matter which style you adopt, but be consistent. For an example of good practice in this area, see how the references are listed in
Management Accounting Research or one of the other major journals in the Library.

Grammar and syntax – Make sure that you proof-read your essay for grammar, syntax and spelling mistakes. If you use a word-processor, always remember to use the ‘check-spelling’ facility. Beware however that a mechanical use of spell-checkers can easily change the meaning of your text!

his will make it easy to read and will also enable you to modify it as you write/proof-read it. Make sure that it has at least a 2.5cm margin round it.

Finally, remember to retain a copy of your essay before you submit.

In summary, essays will be expected to demonstrate the following qualities:

· A sufficiently wide reading.

· Relevance of the answer to the question set.

· A good grasp of the relevant strand of the literature and of a variety of competing explanations.

· A well structured, internally consistent and coherent analysis.

· A careful selection of evidence.

· A balanced personal and critical evaluation of the issue discussed.

Mark scales and interpretation

The following can be used as a general criteria to interpret the marks:






These answers are well-structured and have a coherent argument supported by an appropriate range of evidence. They are generally accurate, analytical and clearly written. They demonstrate wide reading, a good grasp of the topic, and a sufficient understanding of appropriate concepts and/or debates. Marks at the higher end of this range demonstrate a clear, intelligent and critical appreciation of the issues with the capacity to synthesise and evaluate the relevant literature. Marks at the lower end of this scale indicate that areas of the argument may require further development.


Very Good

These answers are mainly clear and relevant to the question. They are based upon a reasonable amount of reading and indicate some evidence of conceptual thinking. The answers are also quite well expressed (in terms of grammar, punctuation and sentence structure). Marks at the lower end of this scale may indicate a rather limited analysis and/or a lack of a clear and developed argument.



These answers have a fair amount of material that is generally relevant to the question, but often need to be better structured so that relevant analysis or evidence is consciously used to back up an argument. Marks at the lower end of the range may indicate a tendency to mere description or only a partial answer to the question.



These answers have some material that is relevant to the question/topic but lack focus and are not clearly engaging with the question. They are also poorly structured, often badly expressed and based upon insufficient knowledge or understanding.

M1-M3, CF, BF


These are weak answers, with insufficient material or ideas, often due to insufficient reading and understanding; a confused structure or bad expression; a tendency not to answer the essay question; a failure to understand economic arguments. Marks at the upper end of the range suggest that a pass would have been attainable with a bit more effort and attention to the question. Marks at the lower end indicate serious weaknesses or a complete lack of effort.