Volume 2, Issue 3, 2002
Knowing How to Manage
John Dixon, Rhys Dogan
Towards Constructive Corporate Governance
From 'Certainties' to a Plurality Principle
This paper explores corporate governance failure by drawing upon contemporary perspectives in the philosophy of the social sciences to identify four contending perceptions of corporate governance. Each posits a set of corporate governance 'certainties that derive from incompatible contentions about what is knowable and can exist in the social world in which corporations conduct their affairs. The broad conclusion drawn is that corporate governance processes must be seen as environments where failures of governance lead to one of two possible outcomes. Either trench warfare takes place between the corporate governors and those they seek to govern and with whom they disagreey resulting inevitably in victory of one over the other; or competing governance interests and desires are confronted and integrated. The latter requires tolerance on the part of both corporate governors and the gov ernedy and a willingness to settle competing governance truth-claims with consistency and without self deception and self-delusion.