Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Accounting Economics and Finance


The Global Financial Crisis caused upheaval to the world economy, triggered many corporate failures, and inflicted significant social distress with long lasting ramifications. This thesis applies DiMaggio and Powell’s (1983) New Institutional Theory and Clegg’s (1989) Theory of Power to analyse contributing factors to the collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers. This is achieved by employing a case study approach which examines reasons for the failure. It is of interest because Lehman Brothers was the only major US investment bank allowed to fail by regulators at this time. Isomorphic influences and interplays of power associated with the US investment banking industry are contextualised in the study.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.