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Firm Commitment


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Table of Contents

Part 1: How the Corporation is Failing Us
1: In the Beginning
2: Morals and Markets
3: Reputation
4: Regulation
Part 2: Why It Is Happening
5: Evolving Enterprises
6: Bought and Closed
7: Capital and Commitment
Part 3: What We Should Do About It
8: Value and Values
9: Governance and Government
10: Without End
Appendix: References and Further Readings

About the Author

Colin Mayer is former Dean of the Said Business School at the University of Oxford. He is an Honorary Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford and of St Anne's College, Oxford. He is an Ordinary Member of the Competition Appeal Tribunal and a Fellow of the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI). He has served on the editorial boards of several leading academic journals and assisted in establishing the prestigious networks of economics, law and finance academics in
Europe at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and ECGI. He was a Harkness Fellow at Harvard University, a Houblon-Norman Fellow at the Bank of England, and the first Leo Goldschmidt Visiting
Professor of Corporate Governance at the Solvay Business School, Université de Bruxelles. He was a director of Oxera between 1986 and 2010 and was instrumental in building the firm into what is now one of the largest independent economics consultancies in the UK.


A constructive critique of the commercial corporation and ultimately an ambiguous agenda for change. Worthy of wide readership because it is also a carefully weighed historical reflection, and thus unlike the majority of books published in this genre.
*Oxford Today Vol. 25 No. 2*

A provocative book ... Mayer's critique of the modern corporation will resonate with millions who sense that something serious has gone amiss.
*Bloomberg News*

There is no shortage of reflections on the market failure in the West. [But this is] not just another fashionable tome on the topic. Rather, it is a solemn contemplation of the roots of corporations' defects. You can sense the seriousness of his thoughts in every line.
*China Daily*

A smart new book.
*The Atlantic*

An important book. It provides an impressive explanation of the state of things and a blueprint for converting the corporation into a 21st century organisation that could perhaps be trusted to promote the interests of economies and societies everywhere.
*New Zealand Management*

Mayer makes his case clearly and passionately.
*Financial Times Summer Books Guide*

An outspoken book ... This is not a theoretical debate but one of urgent importance for economies around the world.
*GRC-Daily (Governance, Risk Management and Compliance)*

The combination of theory and its commercial application comes through in this thoughtful study of the corporation. The analysis is quality.
*Neil Hedges, Management Today*

Blunt ... thoughtful ... thought-provoking.
*Eric Krell, Business Finance Magazine*

Lays out a plan for a radical rethink of the purpose of the corporation.

Lucid analysis
*John Lloyd, Financial Times*

Corporate governance is manifestly in crisis: in this lucid and truly important book Colin Mayer explains why. Not only should you read this book, so should governments.
*Paul Collier, author of 'The Bottom Billion'*

An impassioned and important plea for a reorientation of values in the modern corporation, offered by one of the world's leading scholars of corporate finance, ownership, and control.
*Henry Hansmann, Oscar M. Ruebhausen Professor of Law, Yale Law School*

Companies and wealth generation, as Professor Colin Mayer argues in his important book, are about co-creation, sharing risk and long-term trust relationships.
*Will Hutton, The Observer*

One lesson of the financial crisis is that the corporation which is a purely financial entity is a financial failure. Colin Mayer makes an important contribution to the rethinking of the nature of modern capitalism.
*John Kay, Chairman, Kay Review of Equity Markets and Long Term Decision Making*

Modern theory on incentives, ownership and control of large publicly-traded corporations is broken. In Firm Commitment, Colin Mayer makes a huge and thoughtful contribution to fixing the broken theory. I heartily endorse his prescriptions -- values, trustees and time-based shares -- which are at the same time practical and break-through. Anyone interested in the future of democratic capitalism should read this book.
*Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto*

Original and provocative, Colin Mayer's ideas on reforming the corporation deserve very serious attention.
*John Roberts, Stanford Graduate School of Business and author of 'The Modern Firm'*

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