By Randall K. Morck
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Additional info for A History of Corporate Governance around the World: Family Business Groups to Professional Managers
This view of business groups is underscored by the business histories of many of the countries surveyed in this volume. The earliest origins of Japan’s family business groups, or zaibatsu, were to circumvent low-trust problems. For example, the Mitsui family expanded into commodity trading because their silk business depended on barter deals. They later moved into banking to move Japan beyond barter deals into a real ﬁnancial system. It also helps explain the structures of business groups. The relational approach to strategy and economics propounded by Dyer and Singh (1998), Landes (1998), and Portes (1998) suggests that economic success depends on eﬀective network relationships.
But this organizing propensity continues long after the biological necessity is removed, and often extends to economic activity. Family and kinship groupings are likely the oldest and most pervasive forms of group behavior. From an economic perspective, Khanna and Palepu (2000) conceptualize family business groups “as a mechanism through which intragroup transaction costs are lowered, by encouraging information dissemination among group ﬁrms, reducing the possibility of contractual disputes, and providing a low-cost mechanism for dispute resolution” (p.
Britain, France, and the Netherlands also seem to have preserved their pre-Depression systems of corporate governance. Another example arises in connection with India and other postcolonial economies. Das (2002) and others argue that intellectual fashions at the London School of Economics adversely aﬀected India’s economic policies, including corporate governance. Similar eﬀects elsewhere in the third world seem highly plausible. Families A purpose of this book was to provide a richer rendering of corporate governance systems throughout the world.