In recent years India has been moving further in the direction of adopting an Anglo-American model of corporate governance. This decision, the result more of international economic and political pressures than public debate, in effect represents a new development strategy for the world's most populous democracy. In light of this situation, it is important to ask two basic questions: 1) why has the Anglo-American model of corporate governance been adopted? and; 2) can it be justified? This paper addresses the first of these questions by distinguish and examining three historical models of governance in India: 1) the managing agency model in the colonial period; 2) the business house model that emerged after independence, and; 3) the Anglo-American model which has recently been adopted (and is still emerging). The second question is approached through an examination of the "development impact" of the new model, as indicated by such measures as growth, employment and respect for shareholder rights.
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