The Magazine of Corporate Responsibility

Tag Archive for ‘Governance’

Why CEOs Need to Make Gender Diversity on Boards Happen

With greater gender diversity on a corporate board, comes better performance. Opinions differ as to why, but myriad research studies from leading academic institutions and the private sector all make a compelling case for more balanced gender representation on boards. The debate should be long over, yet women’s presence on U.S. corporate boards remains frustratingly, persistently low.

Delaware Public Benefit Corporations Bring Social Purpose

On August 1, 2013, Delaware became the 19th state to authorize the benefit corporation. For the first time in American corporate law, this new corporate form provides a legal basis for companies to have a positive social purpose in addition to creating shareholder value.

Report: Managing Environmental and Social Risk Helps Create More ‘Valuable’ Enterprise

Companies that invest in the management of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks are far better prepared to deal with business “shocks” and can demonstrate to investors a “resilience” that potentially translates into higher stock market valuations, according to a new report by the consulting firm Deloitte.

OSU President’s Departure Raises Questions About Leadership Values

The sudden resignation of Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee from his $2 million-a-year job followed disclosures of so-called jokes he’d made about other universities and their leaders. Columnist Gael O’Brien says the incident raises questions about leadership vulnerabilities among the most seasoned of executives and how their boards respond,

Gender Composition of Boards Important for Competitiveness

A top Ernst & Young executive says that by not recruiting more women to corporate boards, U.S.-headquartered businesses are encouraging a “brain drain,” as women join the boards of non-U.S. competitors. It’s time, she says, for corporate leaders in America to “take advantage of the power of diverse views from leaders who don’t think, act or look like themselves.”

Penn State Scandal Highlights Failures in Leadership and Culture

A damning new report on the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State shows that it was preventable, says columnist Gael O’Brien. “Whether it is child sexual abuse, sexual harassment, fraud or some other crime, one of the great enablers or deterrents to crisis is the culture of an organization,” she writes. “The unpleasant truth is it can happen anywhere a culture doesn’t resist.”

‘Community of Trust’ Confronts Challenge at University of Virginia

The forced resignation of University of Virginia president Teresa Sullivan has generated turmoil and widespread dissent among faculty, students and staff on the Charlottesville campus. And the state’s governor has given the university’s board an ultimatum to resolve the situation. “What UVA is demonstrating, ” writes columnist Gael O’Brien, “is that when values aren’t put into practice, distrust is created.”

Benefit Corporations vs. ‘Regular’ Corporations: A Harmful Dichotomy

Seven U.S. states have now enacted laws creating a new type of corporation – typically called a benefit corporation, or B Corp – to advance the cause of socially responsible business. But a corporate attorney argues that, however well-intentioned, the B Corp structure “undermines the very values that corporate governance advocates should seek to promote: responsible, sustainable corporate decision-making by companies of any stripe.”

Social Media and the Board: Why #Hashtags Matter to Directors

With Facebook now claiming more than 840 million active users around the globe – and other social networks surging as well – it’s increasingly clear that boards of major companies need to factor the social media phenomenon into the governance equation. Digital “dashboards” are one way of staying abreast of what’s going on. Another is for the board to recruit a “digital director” – but they’re in short supply.

Have We Placed Too Much Faith in Corporate Governance Reform?

Across the globe, the trend toward corporate governance reform continues in response to the global financial crisis and to the opening of markets in developing economies. But consultants for the executive search firm Spencer Stuart think some of that may be overdone. “Governance regulation plays a valuable role,” they write, “but those who elevate its standing to that of corporate savior are exaggerating its power.”