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Project Title: “Corporate Governance and the Rise of Employees’ Interests:
A Comparative Study”

Term: Summer 2016

Supervisor: Prof. Alberto Salazar Unit: Law

Description of project:

This project seeks to discuss the rise of employees’ interest in the theory and practice of corporate governance around the world and aims to critically review new forms of incorporating employees’ interest that are taking place in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and Japan. Employees’ interest is increasingly playing a critical role in corporate decisions despite traditional commitments to shareholder primacy and the pressures from global corporations and global investors. This is a new important development that is not being discussed widely and may have significant implications for moderating the emphasis on shareholders’ interest, re-allocating corporate gains and improving employees’ rights to both fair working conditions (including job security and fair wages) and participation in corporate decisions. This project seeks to unveil such developments and explore whether it may be signaling a new point of convergence among countries that have traditionally adopted shareholder primacy and stakeholder models of governance. A discussion of employees’ interest in setting the compensation of corporate directors and officers in the chosen countries will be used to illustrate the argument.

Number of students required: 01

Research duties (total hours per term):
• Collecting new materials (articles, books, reports, legislation, case law) (15hrs)
• Writing a research paper which will include a literature review and a discussion of the findings with the professor (50hrs)

Learning and reflection activities:
• Completion of a research paper (maximum double-space 20 pages)
• Discussion of research findings with the professor on a regular basis.

Learning outcomes: Students will:
• Gain a strong knowledge of comparative corporate governance systems and the extent to which employees’ interest is playing a role in the development of such governance systems.
• Develop their critical and creative thinking and writing skills.
• Learn strategies to develop novel arguments, collect authoritative evidence to support academic arguments and draft publishable papers.

Evaluation Criteria:
• Literature Review: 40% (deadline: June 15, 2016; a preliminary draft will be discussed with the professor before submitting the final document)
• Research Paper (double-space 20 pages): 60% (deadline: July 31, 2016; a preliminary draft will be discussed with the professor before submitting the final paper which should incorporate the literature review)

Skills or knowledge required:
Familiarity with legal databases such as Westlaw, Lexis-Nexis, Heinonline

Any required health and safety training:
Not

Other considerations:
Candidates should have some knowledge of corporate law and corporate governance and have experience with essay writing.

Application instructions:
Participants are selected on the basis of merit and fit with the research project. Please submit a CV, transcript, and cover letter indicating why you are interested in and qualified for this research experience to the undergraduate administrator of the unit listed above. The application deadline is normally April 30th (for IPAF 4900 opportunities in the summer or fall term), August 15th (for fall and winter term opportunities) and November 15th (to take IPAF 4900 in the winter or summer term). Only students with a GPA of 9.5 or higher and at least third year honours standing will be considered.