Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Management (Business Administration)

Document Type



Due to economic and social globalization processes, the boundaries of national systems of corporate governance have become more permeable for the transfer of ideas and practices from other institutional contexts. I derive hypotheses from a multitheoretical framework to explain strategic firm responsiveness to national level pressures for corporate governance reform. This framework integrates institutional, resource dependence, social network, upper echelon, and organizational learning perspectives and portrays corporate governance reform as institutional change. I test hypotheses derived from this framework in the context of the issuance of the German corporate governance code. The code provision of interest recommends that German firms listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange publish a comprehensive director remuneration report for their management and supervisory boards, a practice that is arguably at odds with the traditional regulative, normative, and cognitive-cultural institutional pillars of the German corporate governance system. A unique longitudinal dataset of 189 stock exchange listed firms is used to explain strategic firm responsiveness to the issuance of this institutionally contested provision. In this context, this dissertation is the first study that (partly) operationalizes Oliver's (1991) continuum of strategic responses to institutional processes. The findings reveal that in contrast to arguments advanced by financial economists and legal scholars, economic market forces do not significantly drive firms' responsiveness to corporate governance reform pressures. Instead, firm ownership type and power, labor representatives, management characteristics, and different intra- and interorganizational learning processes are significant predictors of strategic firm responsiveness to national level corporate governance reform pressures. The findings generally provide support for the developed theoretical framework and help corporate governance research to expand beyond the traditional legal and financial economics perspective.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

McGuire, Jean



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Business Commons