Understanding the rise and decline of shareholder activism in South Korea: the explanatory advantages of the theory of Modes of Exchange

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Asia Pacific Business Review, 2016, 22 (3), pp. 468 - 486
Issue Date:
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© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Abstract: The extent to which Korea has become a full-fledged neoliberal state has been subject to debate. We argue that the recent rise and fall of shareholder activism in Korea is related to the coexistence of neoliberal and developmental state characteristics. Uncertainty as to ‘the rules of the game’ during this uneven transition has provided the chaebol with an opportunity to defuse the radical potential of shareholder activism. Through an analysis of media reports, this article argues there is a relationship between the rise of fall shareholder activism in Korea and a retreat from neoliberalism. It then discusses advantages of the theory of Modes of Exchange to make sense of these developments.
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