Corporate Monitorships and New Governance Regulation: In Theory, in Practice, and in Context


  • The authors would like to thank the participants at the New Governance and the Business Organization conference at the University of British Columbia, and the anonymous reviewers of this article, for very helpful comments.

Cristie Ford, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia, 822 East Mall, Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z1, Canada. Telephone: (604) 822-2711; E-mail:


Over the last few years, it has become increasingly common for government agencies to resolve corporate criminal law and securities regulations violations through the use of settlement agreements that require corporations to improve their compliance programs and hire independent monitors to oversee the changes. Based on our interviews with corporate monitors, regulators, and others, we find that these monitorships are failing to meet their full potential in reforming corrupt corporate cultures. After reviewing potential reforms to improve monitorships from a new governance perspective, we discuss the limits of these reforms that are due to the sociological and institutional environment in which monitorships are embedded.