To all those reading this I am David Gibbs; I am a Lecturer in Law at the University of East Anglia.

I created this blog as a general out-let of ideas for my research, as well as keeping those interested up-to-date on my research and general interests.

I completed my PhD thesis at the University of East Anglia in 2014. The thesis was recommended for the award of PhD with no corrections. My external examiner was Prof. Simon Deakin (Cambridge) and internal examiner was Prof. Morten Hviid.
My PhD research centred on directors' duties and company law. The thesis was titled 'Non-Executive Self-Interest: Fiduciary Duties and Corporate Governance'. It was a doctrinal and empirical study on whether self-interest was suitably controlled amongst non-executive directors.

My supervisors were Prof. Mathias Siems, Prof. Duncan Sheehan, Dr. Sara Connolly and Dr. Rob Heywood

All opinions of any existing or future blogpost are my own. They do not necessarily represent the views of any of my associated institutions.
ORCID 0000-0002-6596-8536

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Davos 2012: China and corporate governance

So Davos and the World Economic Forum meeting has begun.

I do not usually take too much note of these events but most of my reading in the papers and online have involved reading about China.

I was particularly interested in this BBC News piece.

It interestingly highlights people's perceptions of Chinese Business and corporate governance, or lack of.

It appears some view China as developing in business and still learning the ways (implicitly I assume they mean they are learning the ways of the west). Such a view on Chinese business is a bit short sighted in that it assumes the west has it all figured out despite certain recession in Europe and a 0% interest rate environment. Although, Bob Diamond CEO of Barclays predicts a 3% increase in GDP for America.

One commentator points out that China also has no 100-year corporate governance history. Although, neither does the UK. Arguably you could state corporate governance began in the UK around 1945 when the Cohen Report highlighted that there was no official body within a company responsible for supervision, although by 1972 non-executives were still rare and it was not until 1986 did non-executives truly become prominent on board appearing on 94% of boards. The eventually in 1991 there was the introduction of the Combined Code in the UK.

However, some commentators felt China is merely hoarding resources with an official behind every businessman. There is also the fear of them taking over many companies in the West. A fear I struggle to understand if you put that fear in to context with free market principles - although I must admit this is a very basic view of the situation. If China free up more of the resources then it will hopefully be beneficial for the western economy if Chinese firms emerge.

Whatever comes from Davos I do not expect it to be a defining moment for any economy. I do, however, expect to hear much more about China and there approaches to business as they move in to the west.

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