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Seattle University School of Law

Gardiner Means

Articles 1 - 6 of 6

Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Revisiting Berle And Rethinking The Corporate Structure, Kelli A. Alces Jan 2010

Revisiting Berle And Rethinking The Corporate Structure, Kelli A. Alces

Seattle University Law Review

Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means painted what remains a defining portrait of corporate law. The separation of ownership and control they described and the agency costs it causes are still a central concern of the law of corporate governance. For that reason, Berle’s work is relevant nearly eighty years after its publication. Seemingly forgotten, however, is that Berle’s enduring description of the corporate structure was published before most of today’s corporate law was in place. His work preceded the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and even preceded the dominance of Delaware ...


Monitoring To Reduce Agency Costs: Examining The Behavior Of Independent And Non-Independent Boards, Anita Anand, Frank Milne, Lynnette Purda Jan 2010

Monitoring To Reduce Agency Costs: Examining The Behavior Of Independent And Non-Independent Boards, Anita Anand, Frank Milne, Lynnette Purda

Seattle University Law Review

Berle and Means’s analysis of the corporation—in particular, their view that those in control are not the owners of the corporation—raises questions about actions that corporations take to counter concerns regarding management’s influence. What mechanisms, if any, do corporations implement to balance the distribution of power in the corporation? To address this question, we analyze boards of directors’ propensity to voluntarily adopt recommended corporate governance practices. Because board independence is one way to enhance shareholders’ ability to monitor management, we probe whether firms with independent boards of directors (which we define as boards with either an ...


Power Without Property, Still: Unger, Berle, And The Derivatives Revolution, Cristie Ford, Carol Liao Jan 2010

Power Without Property, Still: Unger, Berle, And The Derivatives Revolution, Cristie Ford, Carol Liao

Seattle University Law Review

We are in a time when the notion of property is in flux. The derivatives revolution has shattered the “atom of property” well beyond what was originally imagined in 1932 by Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means. This disaggregation has had fascinating, and often adverse, effects on corporate law and securities regulation. Moreover, the phenomenon has had the unexpected effect of permitting some parties that already possess considerable social, economic, and political power to accumulate even more.


The New Financial Assets: Separating Ownership From Control, Tamar Frankel Jan 2010

The New Financial Assets: Separating Ownership From Control, Tamar Frankel

Seattle University Law Review

In The Modern Corporation and Private Property, Adolf A. Berle and Gardiner Means wrote about the separation of ownership from control in corporations. They noted that the interests of the controlling directors and managers can diverge from those of the shareholder owners of the firm. . . . There are those who consider such a decoupling beneficial. Others express the same concern that Berle and Means have expressed. And depending on what one focuses on in viewing the pluses and minuses of these separations, one could reach different conclusions. I reach a number of conclusions. First, the separation of ownership from control creates ...


Rethinking The Separation Of Ownership From Management In American History, Kenneth Lipartito, Yumiko Morii Jan 2010

Rethinking The Separation Of Ownership From Management In American History, Kenneth Lipartito, Yumiko Morii

Seattle University Law Review

In <em>The Modern Corporation and Private Property</em>, Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means would use AT&T as a prime example of what they saw as a dangerous new trend, the replacement of ownership-based capitalism with giant corporations controlled by a small group of propertyless managers. Indeed, AT&T became Berle and Means’ favorite example. . . . As we ...


The Birth Of Corporate Governance, Harwell Wells Jan 2010

The Birth Of Corporate Governance, Harwell Wells

Seattle University Law Review

Part I of this Article briefly examines the concept of “corporate governance” and argues for dating the concept’s origins to the debates of the 1920s. Part II then moves on to examine early scholarly and popular discussions of the separation of ownership and control. After surveying the historical developments that produced the recognizably modern corporate economy around the turn of the century, it examines early scholarly and popular discussions of the separation of ownership and control, focusing on three major thinkers, Louis D. Brandeis, Walter Lippmann, and Thorstein Veblen. It argues that, while each of these authors examined the ...