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Unit information: Global Perspectives on Corporate Governance in 2018/19

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Unit name Global Perspectives on Corporate Governance
Unit code LAWDM0117
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Ms. Boeger
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit challenges students to critically engage with fundamental theoretical and practical approaches to corporate governance in diverse socio-economic contexts. Using case study examples from the UK, Europe, the US as well as African and Asian regimes, it seeks to assess and compare a global variety of corporate governance models drawing on contemporary conceptual and practical debates. It explores corporate governance classically understood as determining decision-making within the business corporation, but then considers challenges to this classic understanding, for example the emergent global governance of social enterprise: social business models, mutual and cooperative societies. Further topics include: comparative corporate governance techniques and varieties of capitalism; global approaches to corporate social responsibility; corporate governance and the public service economy: public contracting and procurement.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the course the students should be able to:

  1. Understand and critically assess corporate governance regimes in diverse socio-economic contexts, drawing on case studies in the UK, Europe, US and Asian and African regimes
  2. Understand and critically assess theoretical and practical approaches to corporate governance from a global comparative perspective
  3. Understand and critically assess a variety of corporate governance techniques
  4. Understand and critically assess the emergent global governance of social enterprise
  5. Understand and critically assess theoretical and practical approaches to corporate social responsibility
  6. Understand and critically assess the global implications of corporate governance in the public service economy
  7. Research, understand and critically assess relevant literature sources, including library and internet databases, and formulate coherent arguments based on independent research, on any of the above topics.
  8. Follow and critically appraise contemporary debates on any of the above topics.

Teaching details

The contact hours for this unit will be 30 hours. This will usually take the form of: 8 lectures, 10 two-hour seminars and 2 assessment preparation and feedback sessions.

Assessment Details

Summative: 2 x 3000 word essays (50% each) will assess the candidate's ability to research a topic within the scope of this unit. Both assessments will assess all of the Intended Learning Outcomes for this unit in the context of topics selected by the examiners.

Formative: students should do one formative assessment (this will usually be 1 x 1500 word essay).

Reading and References

Initial Literature:

  1. M. Fleckner and K. J. Hopt (eds), Comparative Corporate Governance: A Functional and International Analysis, Cambridge University Press, 2013
  2. P. Utting, J. Marques (eds), Corporate Social Responsibility and Regulatory Governance: Towards Inclusive Development?, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010
  3. P. A. Hall and D. Soskice (eds), Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage, Oxford University Press, 2001
  4. C. Milhaupt and K. Pistor, Law & Capitalism: What Corporate Crises Reveal about Legal Systems and Economic Development around the World, University of Chicago Press, 2010
  5. M. J. Whincop, Corporate Governance in Government Corporations, Ashgate, 2004
  6. R. Ridley-Duff and M. Bull, Understanding Social Enterprise: Theory and Practice, Sage, 2011