Aaron Dhir explores the role of law in corporate governance as part of a new LCO scholar-in-residence study
Living and working in three different countries and visiting three more in less than seven months has convinced Aaron Dhir of at least one fact — diversity makes the world go round. But the Osgoode law professor and incoming LCO scholar-in-residence can’t help but notice that much of Canada’s corporate world seems to operate on a different page.
“There’s a lack of gender and racial diversity on the boards of Canada’s publicly-listed companies,” says Dhir. As part of a six-month LCO research appointment beginning in July, he plans to explore the role of law in facilitating diversification in corporate governance. “My goal is to provide precise recommendations for legal reform.”
The project received a significant jumpstart last fall during Dhir’s term as a visiting scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In January, Dhir relocated to the United Kingdom, where he served as a visiting scholar at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Socio-Legal Studies. “My time there was spent thinking about methodology; in particular, what qualitative and quantitative methods will best advance my research questions.”
By April, Dhir was back at Osgoode and preparing for the next stage of his project — a book he is writing in cooperation with the Law Commission of Ontario. Tentatively titled Challenging Boardroom Homogeneity: Corporate Law, Governance and Diversity and slated for publication by Cambridge University Press in 2012, the text will highlight the findings of his research since September and over the next six months.
“In addition to helping me learn and grow as a scholar, I very much hope my research will make an important and timely contribution to legal debate and reform, and add a critical dimension to public discourse.”