Corporate governance and the Board
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Authors: Nordberg, D.
What is a board of directors to do, in the face of competing demands on the resources of the company and conflicting perspectives on what their roles are and should be? Corporate governance has become a central theme in management in the past two decades owing to a string of major corporate failures and evidence that the boards of these companies either failed to grasp the scale of the problems or failed to stand up to managers. Those corporations might have set out upon the wrong strategy, or engaged in fraud, or unethical behaviour, or simply suffered from bad luck. Their failures have led to a debate both with industry and in public policy about what mechanisms might prevent a recurrence, not least because they show how great the influence of the corporate sector is on society at large. In this chapter we consider how boards contribute to governing the corporation, the tensions they face along the way, and how theories of corporate governance point to the persistence of those tensions. © 2011 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.