Maturation of Corporate Governance Research, 1993–2007: An Assessment


*Bocconi University, Management Department, Via Guglielmo Roentgen 1, I-20136 Milano, Italy. Tel: +39 02 58 36 68 57; Fax: +39 02 58 36 25 30; E-mail:


Manuscript Type: Review

Research Question/Issue: This study seeks to investigate whether governance research in fact is a discipline or whether it is rather the subject of multi-disciplinary research. We map the intellectual structure of corporate governance research and its evolution from 1993–2007.

Research Findings/Results: Based on the analysis of more than 1,000 publications and 48,000 citations in Corporate Goverance: An International Review (CGIR) and other academic journals, our study identifies the most influential works, the dominant subfields, and their evolution. Our study assesses the maturation of corporate governance research as a discipline; it finds increasing sophistication, depth and rigor, and consistency in its intellectual structure.

Theoretical Implications: There is a large body of accumulated corporate governance research in the US, yet there is an empirical gap on cross-national studies in the literature. Furthermore, hardly any of the top cited works undertake their study in a cross-national setting. Thus, corporate governance research and CGIR in its quest to contribute to a global theory of corporate governance might benefit if articles have a cross-national methodological approach and empirical grounding in their research design and if articles explicitly aim at stating the theoretical underpinnings they draw on.

Practical Implications: Globalists find in CGIR an outlet addressing economics and finance (e.g., whether and how compensation or dismissal of CEOs is related to board characteristics), management (e.g., whether and how best practice codes adoption is related to board characteristics and performance), and accounting (e.g., whether and how earnings manipulations is related to board characteristics) issues globally.