Corporate Governance Ideology: A Missing Part of the Puzzle
In this paper we develop and test this thesis using cases from the country perhaps most associated with social democratic thinking, while simultaneously tolerating one the most unequal distribution of power in business society (Högfeldt, 2004): i.e. Sweden. The ownership structure in Sweden is built on ownership concentrated into the hands of a few families and inherited power. In this paper we test whether this structure is supported by the Swedish society through the outcome of regulation. The cases are explored by discourse analysis addressing how parallel corporate governance scandals are portrayed, as well as an analysis of the material outcome of the scandals, i.e. the regulation. The first case is from the mid-1980, when the two major scandals in Swedish business society were LEO and Fermenta, with the material regulatory outcome of the LEO-law. The second case is from the early 2000, with major scandals in ABB and Skandia, leading to the Swedish corporate governance code. The aim is to through the discourse analysis (i) build a conceptual framework of how to access corporate governance ideologies and (ii) convey the type of ideology underlying regulation in the Swedish business society in order to (iii) contribute to our understanding of the importance and materialization of ideology in corporate governance.