Issue 2022, v9, S1, 16


The Journal of Corporate Governance,  Insurance, and Risk Management (JCGIRM) 2022, Volume 9, Series 1

THE FALLACY OF THE RATIONAL APATHY THEORY: MINORITY SHAREHOLDER ELECTRONIC PARTICIPATION IN NIGERIAN CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 Gabriel Uchechi Emeasoba

University of Aberdeen, Kings College, Aberdeen; g.emeasoba.21@abdn.ac.uk.

 

A B S T R A C T   A R T I C L E   I N F O
Purpose: The appeal of the Rational Apathy Theory lies in the fact that it is not only a descriptive theory of shareholder behaviour in the modern public firm but also a powerful normative tool which recommends itself to corporate legislators and policymakers. True to their normative logic, proponents of apathy contend that since shareholders of modern public firms will never find it cost-efficient or incentivized to perform their monitoring responsibilities over corporate management, insisting on a shareholder-oriented corporate governance model is undesirable. This article rejects the determinism and immutability of the above thesis and argues that firm investors will embrace activism where the cost of corporate monitoring is reduced, and the benefits of doing so are increased. Given the ability of the internet to reduce monitoring costs for shareholders (predominantly minority shareholders) in public companies, the article campaigns for minority shareholder electronic participation in corporate governance and proposes a careful reform of corporate law and governance in post-covid Nigeria, drawing inspiration from similar reforms on electronic governance in Canada, UK, and the State of Delaware in the US. In a society where digitalization has been identified as a major catalyst for the economic revival of commercial and corporate life, this article recommends itself to policy and lawmakers, corporate boards, corporate law experts, legislators, regulators, and other relevant stakeholders.

Methodology: The article adopts doctrinal and comparative methods of legal analysis.

Results/Findings: The article finds that while the Rational Apathy Theory may have served the analogue world, it is unsuitable for a digital generation, where issues of cost, communication and participation could be liberalized, through the use of the internet, to serve the interest of shareholder democracy in public companies.

  Keywords: Corporate Governance, Virtual Meetings, Shareholder Activism, Minority Shareholders, Rational Apathy Theory

*Corresponding author:

ucsteveg@yahoo.com (Gabriel Uchechi Emeasoba)

 Article history:

Received 26.04.2022

Revised   10.07.2022

Accepted 10.07.2022

DOI https://doi.org/10.51410/jcgirm.9.1.16

Cite Article (APA): (2022).Emeasoba, G.U. 2022. THE FALLACY OF THE RATIONAL APATHY THEORY: MINORITY SHAREHOLDER ELECTRONIC PARTICIPATION IN NIGERIAN CORPORATE GOVERNANCE. The Journal of Corporate Governance, Insurance, and Risk Management (JCGIRM).2022, Volume 9, Series 1, Pages 243-262.

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