Advertisement

Changing Corporate Governance in France in the Late Twentieth Century

  • Peter WirtzEmail author
Living reference work entry

Abstract

France belongs to those highly developed western European countries that belong to the G7, the group of seven countries with the most developed national economies. Its national capital, Paris, is home to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). OECD is an active promoter of international standards of corporate governance best practice. Historically, governance practices are however highly heterogeneous when comparing different national settings. At present, France shares most of the characteristics of a liberal market economy, and its code of reference for corporate governance was the first of its kind in continental Europe when first published in 1995. France’s economic history, however, has a longstanding tradition of interventionism by the State, and liberal market mechanisms did not have the favor of the political elite after World War II. Since the middle of the 1980s, the French system of corporate governance has undergone major transformations at a relatively fast pace. The public administration has increasingly retired from its active role in corporate governance matters, increasing the weight of shareholder-oriented market mechanisms. This chapter retraces the history of the French corporate governance system over the second half of the twentieth century. Significant change is shown to have occurred in three stages, whose underlying rationale appears to be broadly consistent with North’s theory of institutional change.

Keywords

Corporate governance France Institutional change Mental patterns Shareholder orientation Stakeholder orientation 

References

  1. Aguilera R, Cuervo-Cazurra A (2004) Codes of good governance world-wide: what is the trigger? Organ Stud 25(3):415–443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aguilera R, Jackson G (2003) The cross-national diversity of corporate governance: dimensions and determinants. Acad Manag Rev 28(3):447–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Albert M (1991) Capitalisme contre capitalisme. Seuil Points, ParisGoogle Scholar
  4. Albouy M, Schatt A (2004) Les prises de contrôle par les actionnaires contestataires: le cas André’. Finan Contrôle Strat 7(2):33–65Google Scholar
  5. Alexandre H, Charreaux G (2004) Efficiency of French privatizations: a dynamic vision. J Corp Finan 10:467–494CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Aoki M (1994) The Japanese firm as a system of attributes: a survey and research agenda. In: Aoki M, Dore R (eds) The Japanese firm: sources of competitive strength. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Aoki M (2001) Toward a comparative institutional analysis. MIT Press, BostonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bebchuk L, Roe M (1999) A theory of path dependence in corporate ownership and governance. Stanford Law Rev 52(1):127–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Berglöf E (1997) Reforming corporate governance: redirecting the European agenda. Econ Policy 12(24):92–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bertin-Mourot B, Bauer M (1996) Vers un modèle européen de dirigeants? Une comparaison Allemagne/France/Grande-Bretagne. Probl Écon 2482:18–26Google Scholar
  11. Charreaux G (1997) Vers une théorie du gouvernement des entreprises. In: Charreaux G (ed) Le gouvernement des entreprises. Economica, Paris, pp 421–469Google Scholar
  12. Conseil National du Crédit et du Titre (1999) Le financement de l’entreprise. CNCT, ParisGoogle Scholar
  13. Daily C, Dalton D, Cannella A (2003) Corporate governance: decades of dialogue and data. Acad Manag Rev 28(3):371–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Denzau A, North D (1994) Shared mental models: ideologies and institutions. Kyklos 47:3–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fauroux R (1998) Etats de service. Hachette Littératures, ParisGoogle Scholar
  16. Franks J, Mayer C (1990) Capital markets and corporate control: a study of France, Germany and the UK. Econ Policy 10:191–231Google Scholar
  17. Gomez P-Y, Wirtz P (2018) Successfully mobilizing for employee board representation: lessons to be learned from post-war Germany. J Manag Hist 24(3):262–281.  https://doi.org/10.1108/JMH-08-2017-0039CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Guillén M (2000) Corporate governance and globalization: is there convergence across countries? Adv Comp Int Manag 13:175–204Google Scholar
  19. Hall P, Soskice D (2001) Varieties of capitalism: the institutional foundations of comparative advantage. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hirigoyen G (1994) Brève histoire de l’O.P.A. de B.S.N. sur Saint-Gobain (décembre 1968- janvier 1969). In: De Jacques Coeur à Renault. Gestionnaires et organisations, 3ème rencontres des 25 et 26 novembre 1994. Collection Histoire, Gestion, Organisations 3. Presses de l’Université des Sciences Sociales, Toulouse, pp 369–391Google Scholar
  21. Jensen M (1993) The modern industrial revolution, exit, and the failure of internal control systems. J Financ XLVIII(3):831–880CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. La Porta R, Lopez-de-Silanes F, Shleifer A (1999) Corporate ownership around the world. J Financ LIV(2):471–517CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lazonick W, O’Sullivan M (1997) Finance and industrial development. Part I: the United States and the United Kingdom. Finan Hist Rev 4:7–29Google Scholar
  24. Le Monde (06/27 and 06/28/1999) Forcing de la Banque de France pour un accord entre la BNP, SG et ParibasGoogle Scholar
  25. Les Echos (11/16–11/21/1998) L’exception française. special inquiryGoogle Scholar
  26. Les Echos (12/07–12/10/1998) Le planisphère. special inquiry on cross-shareholdingsGoogle Scholar
  27. Les Echos (07/01/1999) Une nouvelle époqueGoogle Scholar
  28. Lesourne J (1998) Le modèle français, grandeur et décadence. Odile Jacob, ParisGoogle Scholar
  29. Mayer M, Whittington R (1999) Strategy, structure and ‘systemness’: national institutions and corporate change in France, Germany and the UK, 1950–1993. Organ Stud 20(6):933–959CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Moerland P (1995) Alternative disciplinary mechanisms in different corporate systems. J Econ Behav Organ 26:17–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. North D (1990) Institutions, institutional change and economic performance. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. North D (1993) Five propositions about institutional change. Working paper. Center for the Study of Political Economy, Washington University, St. LouisGoogle Scholar
  33. Peyrelevade J (1998) Le corporate governance ou les fondements incertains d’un nouveau pouvoir. Notes de la Fondation Saint-Simon, ParisGoogle Scholar
  34. Porter M (1992) Capital disadvantage: America’s failing capital investment system. Harv Bus Rev 70:65–82Google Scholar
  35. Riboud A (1999) Le dernier de la classe. Grasset, ParisGoogle Scholar
  36. Schmidt V (1996) From state to market? The transformation of French business and government. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  37. Schneper W, Guillén M (2002) Stakeholder rights and corporate governance: a cross-national study of hostile takeovers. Working paper. The Wharton School, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  38. Shleifer A, Vishny R (1997) A survey of corporate governance. J Financ 52:737–783CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Simon H (1982) From substantive to procedural rationality. In: Simon HA (ed) Models of bounded rationality, vol. 2: Behavioral economics and business organization. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, pp 129–148Google Scholar
  40. Simon H (1983) Reason in human affairs. Stanford University Press, StanfordGoogle Scholar
  41. Viénot M (1995) Le conseil d’administration des sociétés cotées. CNPF-AFEP, ParisGoogle Scholar
  42. Wirtz P (2001) Financial policy, managerial discretion and corporate governance: the example of Usinor. Glob Focus 13(1):127–141Google Scholar
  43. Wirtz P (2008) Les meilleures pratiques de gouvernance d’entreprise. La Découverte, ParisGoogle Scholar
  44. Yoshimori M (1995) Whose company is it? The concept of the corporation in Japan and the west. Long Range Plan 28(4):33–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IAE Lyon School of Management, Magellan Research CenterUniversity of LyonLyonFrance

Personalised recommendations