- Slides: 15
Ethical Thoughts • Corporate governance is concerned with holding the balance between economic and social goals and between individual and communal goals. • The corporate governance framework is there to encourage the efficient use of resources and equally to require accountability for the stewardship of those resources. The aim is to align as nearly as possible the interests of individuals, corporations, and society.
Corporate Governance • The system that is used by firms to control and direct their operations and the operations of their representatives, the employees. • Through the corporate governance structure, firms can ensure that the needs of all stakeholders are satisfied. • Provides a means to measure and validate the ethical vision.
Corporate Governance • The corporate governance system: – Incorporates the objectives of the stakeholders – Ensures that the behavior of the employees within the firm is fair, just, and transparent
Board of Directors • Designed to represent the interests of the stockholders • Agency theory – based on the belief that managers are ‘agents’ of the stockholders because they should be making decisions to benefit the stockholders • The board is a corporate governance mechanism to help ensure that the agents do their job of maximizing returns
Classifications • Inside Board Member: person who has direct financial ties to the firm – Management team • Outside Board Member: person who has not direct financial ties to the firm. – President of a University
Responsibilities for Board Members • Establishing an maintaining internal financial controls • Communicating financial situations internally and externally • Establishing and revising the company’s code of ethics and ethical standards • Selecting the external auditor • Establishing different board committees
Core Values to Guide board Members’ Behavior • Honesty • Integrity • Loyalty • Responsibility • Fairness • Citizenship • Note: Stakeholders must be proactive
Typical Decisions Made by Board Members • Remember that every board of directors is as unique as the firm it represents • Major Decisions: – The annual business plan of the firm – The hiring and compensation of the board members and other officials of the firm – The investments in capital structure and level of firm indebtedness – The issuance of dividends
Typical Decisions Made by Board Members – Discussions pertaining to risk management and insurance policies – Fines and penalties greater than a stated amount – Restructuring of the firm that may exceed a particular amount – Tax settlements that are greater than a certain amount – Contingent liabilities issues greater than a particular amount – Pension contributions that exceed a stated amount
Benefits of A Strong Board of Directors • Having good corporate governance supports not only the ethical requirements established by the stakeholders, but also the financial requirements established by the shareholders
Corporate Compliance Systems and Global Corruption • Corruption: the conscious abuse of public roles and resources for the private benefit of a firm and/or the individuals of the firm; the use of bribery, extortion and/or embezzlement for the benefit of one’s own interests – Bribery: giving a financial benefit in return for influencing the decision of a person in a position of trust – Extortion: the use of intimidation or power in return for financial benefit – Embezzlement: the taking of money illegally from a firm or other source
Corruption • Petty Corruption: occurs when private individuals give illegal financial incentives to non-elected public officials in exchange for favorable dealings with certain government transactions • Grand Corruption: occurs when illegal financial incentives are given to higher ranked public officials • Influence Peddling: occurs when illegal transactions take place along with legal transactions
US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act • Passed into law in 1977 and amended in 1988 • Prohibits any US firm and its foreign subsidiaries from giving foreign government officials any financial incentives in exchange for either obtaining or retaining any government business in that country
Corporate Governance and Stakeholders • Employees, suppliers, and communities want and expect an honest and transparent relationship with the firm • Stockholders expect the firm to perform at the maximum financial performance level