Oslo Summer School in Comparative Social Science Studies 1997

Corporate Governance and Economic Performance

Main disciplines: Economics, Sociology
Lecturers: Professors William Lazonick and Mary O'Sullivan
Institution: INSEAD, France/ University of Massachusetts. Lowell, USA
Dates: 4 August - 8 August, 1997

This course focuses on the economic theories and historical changes underlying the current debates on corporate governance in the advanced industrial economies. The theoretical framework developed in the course is rooted in an economic analysis of the innovative enterprise and the process of industrial development. The empirical basis for the analysis is the comparative-historical experience of industrial development in Britain, the United States, Germany and Japan.

The objective of the course is to show how the interaction of enterprises and institutions has shaped corporate governance, who makes developmental investments, what types of investments they make, and how returns from investments are distributed, in various ways across countries and within each country over time. The course is rooted in economic analysis but will be taught in a way that is accessible to students from other social sciences. It will encourage students to examine the social and political dimensions of corporate governance, and in particular to consider the issues at stake in contemporary debates on corporate governance in Europe.

Basic readings

The lecturers
William Lazonick is a Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Co-director of its Center for Industrial Competitiveness, and also a fellow at INSEAD. He has earlier taught at Harvard, Columbia and Tokyo Universities. He has specialized in the economic history of industrial superiority, comparing Britain, the U. S. and Japan. Some of his most important articles are collected in Organization and Technology in Capitalist Development, Aldershot 1992. His most recent book is America's Ultimate Investments: How Social Commitment to Build Productive Capabilities Generates Sustainable Prosperity, New York 1997 (written with Louis Ferleger).

Mary O'Sullivan is an Assistant Professor of Strategy and Political Economy at INSEAD, The European Institute of Business Administration at Fountainbleau, France. She earlier worked as a business analyst. She received her Ph.D. (Innovation, Industrial Development and Corporate Governance) from Harvard University in 1996, and has published extensively on corporate governance, finance, and on Irish industrial developments.