The topic of 'corporate governance' attracts the interest of commentators, policy makers and academics due to its focus on major differences between national business systems and their performance. Yet many works engage in generalizations, and fail to appreciate the realities and circumstances of its long-term evolution. Comparative study is used in this book to analyse national, legal, cultural and industry-specific contexts and the broad range of key factors contributing to the emergence of business institutions. Historical insight into the origins of corporate governance systems and the impact of institutional legacy is used to unravel development pathways in Japan and Britain. The book is the result of genuine international cooperation between established Japanese and British business historians and management academics.