Comparative and international corporate governance

Ruth V. Aguilera, Gregory Jackson

Research output: Indexed journal article Reviewpeer-review

388 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we examine the state of the art in comparative and international corporate governance by identifying the key research questions, main concepts, and paradigms of explanations of cross-country diversity in corporate governance. First, we discuss the multiple definitions of corporate governance across disciplines and explore how this multi-dimensional nature of corporate governance posses challenges when making cross-national comparisons. Second, we review existing comparative research on corporate governance and highlight some of the main characteristics of comparative analysis. Third, we analyze how comparative corporate governance has been understood from four different scholarly perspectives: economics and management, culture and sociology, legal, and political paradigms. We conclude from this third section that future research should make an effort to better integrate cross-disciplinary paradigms. Fourth, we investigate what insights these four perspectives bring to understand change and stability better in two particular governance dimensions: corporate ownership and the role of labor in comparative corporate governance. Finally, we conclude the article with some forward looking suggestions regarding (1) how different perspectives of corporate governance can be more effectively integrated by adopting case-based, historical, and actor-centered forms of institutional explanations and by (2) discussing the current U.S. corporate governance system, frequently seen as the "best practice" model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-556
Number of pages72
JournalThe Academy of Management Annals
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


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