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Agents of transparency: How sell-side financial analysts make corporate governance visible.

Tan, Zhiyuan (2010) Agents of transparency: How sell-side financial analysts make corporate governance visible. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis examines the phenomenon of sell-side financial analysts (analysts hereafter) "doing" corporate governance. The term "doing" is used in the current study to designate the various ways in which some analysts in the US and the UK, across the past decade or so, have made corporate governance visible. The thesis examines how this has occurred, and the mechanisms and devices that have made it possible. Analysts, it is suggested, can be viewed as "agents of transparency", in so far as they have taken the evaluation of companies beyond the financials, to include corporate governance issues. The thesis focuses primarily on the corporate governance reports produced by analysts, the official documents issued by various organisations and institutions, selected financial and business newspapers and magazines, together with other documents such as textbooks of corporate governance, as well as academic and practioner publications on corporate governance. Through an examination of these materials, the thesis investigates the pre-conditions that made possible the appearance and development of the corporate governance work pursued by analysts in the early twenty-first century. It examines the evaluations performed by analysts of the corporate governance procedures adopted by companies. In particular, it focuses on the ways in which analysts benchmarked the corporate governance procedures of companies against formal regulations, and how comparisons of the governance procedures adopted by different companies were undertaken and facilitated by analysts. Benchmarking, and the making of comparisons of corporate governance practices through a range of devices, are examined. The thesis also examines the linking of corporate governance to the financials (such as profitability, stock price performance, and equity valuation) in the investment analyses performed by analysts. It concentrates on the way in which analysts integrated corporate governance issues in the investment decision making process. Attention is paid to the ideas that shaped and articulated the integration, as well as to the tools and devices deployed by analysts. This thesis argues that greater attention is needed to the "doing" of corporate governance by analysts, and its implications for these "agents of transparency" that have broadened the parameters through which transparency is assessed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Business Administration, Management, Economics, Finance
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Accounting
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2376

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