Responsible Ownership through Ownership Strategy

Olaf Sigurjonsson, Thomas Poulsen, Gudrun Jonsdottir

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


A new strand of corporate governance literature on ownership is developing the next generation of the concept of active ownership: responsible ownership. This paper aims to contribute to this strand of literature by addressing an inchoate element of responsible ownership: collective action by owners. We introduce an ownership strategy as a governance mechanism for collective action and responsible ownership and ask how an ownership strategy improves corporate governance. Using data from semi-structured interviews with owner representatives, board members, and non-executive insiders, together with observation and documentary analysis, we find support for the theoretical construction and an answer to the research question. Specifically, we find that the ownership strategy functions as a collaboration pact, which cultivates long-termism, and that the outcome is improved agency, i.e. that both the relationship between owners and directors and between directors and management is improved due to better alignment. The findings indicate that an ownership strategy establishes a much-needed long-term focus and commitment of owners while creating a sense of security and understanding among the members of the board of directors, i.e. that they are working with the will of their owners. As such, it suggests new avenues of research for corporate governance literature.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEURAM 2020 Online Conference : The Business of Now: The Future Starts Here
Number of pages38
Place of PublicationBrussels
PublisherEuropean Academy of Management
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)9782960219524
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventThe 20th European Academy of Management Conference (EURAM) 2020: The Business of Now: The Future Starts Here - Online Conference
Duration: 4 Dec 20206 Dec 2020
Conference number: 20


ConferenceThe 20th European Academy of Management Conference (EURAM) 2020
LocationOnline Conference
OtherOnline Conference
Internet address
SeriesEuram Conference Proceedings


  • Ownership
  • Ownership strategy
  • Collective action
  • Voice
  • Long-termism
  • Stewardship

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