Ever since Homer told the epic story of Odysseus’ voyage home from Troy, an odyssey has involved a journey. This story of the author’s search for the meaning of corporate governance has been a personal odyssey. Odysseus took ten years on his voyage: the author’s has taken forty-five years so far, and the journey is not yet over.
A five-year research project at Nuffield College, Oxford, in the 1980s, led to the first book with the title ‘Corporate Governance.’ The 1994 Cadbury Report used the phrase ‘corporate governance’ in its seminal report. Corporate governance codes then appeared around the world, culminating in the OECD corporate governance code in 1999, which became an international benchmark, and was subsequently adopted by the G 20 nations. Interest in the subject blossomed, with research, publications, consultancies, leading to widespread acceptance of the field. The original focus on the governance of publicly listed companies widened to cover other types of corporate entity. Legal, economic, and other social sciences focused on the subject, but these different perspectives lacked a unifying paradigm.