Limited Liability, Rights of Control and the Problem of Corporate Irresponsibilty

Ireland, Paddy (2010) Limited Liability, Rights of Control and the Problem of Corporate Irresponsibilty. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 34 (5). pp. 837-856. ISSN 0309-166X. (doi: (Full text available)

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There has long been a tendency to see the corporate legal form as presently constituted as economically determined, as the more or less inevitable product of the demands of advanced technology and economic efficiency. Through an examination of its historical emergence, focusing in particular on the introduction of general limited liability and the development of the modern doctrine of separate corporate personality, this paper takes issue with this view, arguing that the corporate legal form was, and is, in large part a political construct developed to accommodate and protect the rentier investor. It is, moreover, a construct which institutionalises irresponsibility. Against this backdrop different ways of trying to resolve the problem of corporate irresponsibility are explored. The key, the paper suggests, is to be found in decoupling the privilege of limited liability from rights of control.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Corporate governance; Corporate irresponsibility; Limited liability; Rentier investment
Subjects: K Law
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Katrin Steinack
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2008 12:00 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2012 15:27 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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