Fixing the Game: Bubbles, Crashes, and What Capitalism Can Learn from the NFL

American capitalism is in dire straits, caught in a perilous pattern of increasing volatility, decreasing investor returns, and ongoing bad behavior by executives. And it’s getting worse. Since the turn of the twenty-first century, we’ve seen two massive value-destroying market meltdowns and a string of ethics breaches, including accounting scandals, options-backdating schemes, and the subprime mortgage debacle.

Just what is going on here? Is it the … [ Read more ]

Gatekeepers: the Professions and Corporate Governance

Much of the debate and investigation of corporate collapse and failure has focused on boards and directors. Not so much attention has been given to the role of those who inform and advise them: the gatekeeping professions who play a vital and influential role in modern business.

In the book, John Coffee, world-renowned Professor of Corporate Law, explains how the professions have evolved, performed and changed … [ Read more ]

Inside the Boardroom: How Boards Really Work and the Coming Revolution in Corporate Governance

Inside the Boardroom goes where few have gone before—behind the closed doors of actual boardrooms—to reveal how boards really work. Based on a five-year study, this book goes behind the scenes to reveal the inner workings of boards of directors, candid interviews with directors, and a comprehensive investigation into boardroom processes. It challenges the status quo thinking on corporate governance and provides ground-breaking prescriptions for … [ Read more ]

Corporate Governance and Chairmanship: A Personal View

Sir Adrian Cadbury, in this modest but persuasive book, praises the Anglo-Saxon unitary board over the German two-tier model, but he sees significant differences in the way American and British boards operate. There is little doubt which he thinks is more effective. On American boards, he says, the CEO is normally in charge, supported by the board. In Britain, the board is unquestionably in charge. … [ Read more ]

Back to the Drawing Board: Designing Corporate Boards for a Complex World

This timely book argues that boards are being pressed to perform unrealistic duties given their traditional structure, processes, and membership. Carter and Lorsch propose a strategic redesign of boards-making them better attuned to their oversight, decision-making, and advisory roles-to enable directors to successfully meet twenty-first century challenges.

Based on the authors’ deep expertise and longtime experience working with boards around the world, and on a probing … [ Read more ]

The Recurrent Crisis in Corporate Governance

Multibillion-dollar governance debacles have understandably created new demands for radical reform. A “zero-tolerance” environment is evolving for both directors as individuals and boards as fiduciary institutions. The days when “independent” directors could receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in “fees” for marginal investments of time and effort are over.

Yet although the current sense of urgency and accountability may be new, the underlying problems of corporate … [ Read more ]

Pay without Performance: The Unfulfilled Promise of Executive Compensation

The company is under-performing, its share price is trailing, and the CEO gets…a multi-million-dollar raise. This story is familiar, for good reason: as this book clearly demonstrates, structural flaws in corporate governance have produced widespread distortions in executive pay. Pay without Performance presents a disconcerting portrait of managers’ influence over their own pay–and of a governance system that must fundamentally change if firms are … [ Read more ]

A Blueprint for Corporate Governance

If the top business schools offered a Ph.D. in corporate governance, their textbooks would cover subjects that extend far beyond recent accounting scandals and the resulting legislation. They would put governance in a historical context to show how problems arose. They would examine factors that make markets inefficient. They would discuss stock valuation and asset pricing models. And they would examine the impact of financing … [ Read more ]

Saving the Corporate Board: Why Boards Fail and How to Fix Them

“The corporate board simply sucks as a tool for fiduciary oversight,” says Ward, Boardroom INSIDER publisher and Corporate Boards editor. He finds that boards fall victim to ten common traps – such as using the wrong information, conflicting agendas, and ineffective responses to bad news – and offers practical advice for avoiding them.

Pawns or Potentates: The Reality of America’s Corporate Boards

Pawns or Potentates provides a masterly overview of the current limited roles of outside directors, along with specific recommendations for increasing their power for the greater benefit of the companies and stakeholders they serve.

The End of Shareholder Value: Corporations at the Crossroad

Kennedy argues that the corporate boardroom’s preoccupation with shareholder value has led companies to mortgage their futures for today’s higher stock price. It also created a class of entrepreneurs who, for a brief time, were able to sell companies to a gullible investing public at unsupportable prices. The author offers a host of boardroom reforms, with an eye on making this body more responsive to … [ Read more ]

Chairman of the Board: A Practical Guide

Toronto-based Lechem’s overview of the chairman’s role effectively covers the basic responsibilities of the position – board leadership, selection and evaluation, organizational oversight, and agenda setting. In general terms, it also explores some of the legal liabilities and ethical issues that are making front-page news these days.

Corporate Boards: New Strategies for Adding Value at the Top

A comprehensive look at the evolution of corporate governance reforms in the United States over the past 20 years, with practical recommendations for making the corporate board a more effective resource for companies.