Empirical Corporate Governance 01.10. - 06.11.2014

Course Description: The course consists of two parts. In the first part, the current and emerging approaches on corporate governance will be elaborated. These include positivist, holistic, contingency and interpretive approaches as well as behavioral agency theory. Prior to the first part, each student is required to read key articles on these approaches and write diaries. In the second part students write a research proposal on empirical corporate governance. The course is highly interactive where students have various roles as authors, referees, and initiators of a research proposal. In this course, debating is the key learning method.

Learning outcomes: After this course student is aware of various essential approaches on empirical corporate governance, is capable to read critically empirical articles within the field, knows how referee process works, is able to act as an author or referee of an article, is capable to debate (both defending and criticizing) on research ideas and methodological issues, and is capable to write and present a high quality research proposal

Course requirements: During the first part of the course, students get familiar with each of the approaches by writing diaries, giving presentations and discussing on these approaches. We use a role play method, where each student acts as the original author explaining and defending the paper. The other students act as referees, making the critiques and suggestions for possible improvements.

After the Part I student will solve one of two take-home assignments which will be given at the end of Part I.

In the second part, students are expected to write a research proposal in the field of empirical corporate governance under the supervision of two mentors (one from academia and the other from practice). Each student selects one of the approaches and develops and presents a research proposal which have a potential to be published in a high quality journal (min. JUFO2). They will also market the proposal by a presentation and receive feedbacks from the mentors and other doctoral students.

Part I Introduction to Corporate Governance (Main reading list comprises of 15 papers)

(1) Positivist approach (1 day)

(2) Holistic and contingency approach (1 day)

(3) Behavioral agency theory and Interpretive approach (1 day)


Part II Research proposal presentation and discussion (2 days)

• Presentation (each student, 15-20 minutes)

• Discussion (other participating students and mentors, 15-20 minutes)

• The time devoted for one presentation depends on the amount of participants.

Study hours' composition (in total 160 hours)

• Paper reading and Write-up (60 hours, 4h* 15articles)

• Paper Presentation preparation (5 hours)

• Class discussion (30 hours, 6h*5days)

• Assignment (10 hours, group based)

• Research proposal and presentation preparation (55 hours)

Target group: Doctoral students

Time: Part I (October 13-15, 2014) Part II (November 17-18, 2014)

Place: Aalto University School of Business

Course Language: English

ECTS: 6 Credits

Number of students: 25 students.

Course work and evaluation: Part I (60%): Diaries (25 %), Presentation (15 %), Class discussion (15 %), Assignment (5 %)

Part II (40%): Research Proposal and Presentation (30 %), Class discussion (10 %)

Required readings: 15 compulsory articles (will be published on September 15th, 2014)

Instructors: Prof. Seppo Ikäheimo, Professor Eduardo Schiehll (HEC Montreal)

Course Coordinator and contact person: Postdoctoral researcher Yaping Mao ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )