Corporate governance is the set of processes, customs, policies, laws, and institutions affecting the way a corporation is directed, administered or controlled. Corporate governance also includes the relationships among the many stakeholders involved and the goals for which the corporation is governed. The principal stakeholders are the shareholders/members, management, and the board of directors. Other stakeholders include labour (employees), customers, creditors (e.g., banks, bond holders), suppliers, regulators, and the community at large. An important theme of corporate governance is to ensure the accountability of certain individuals in an organization through mechanisms that try to reduce or eliminate the principal-agent problem. It is a system of structuring, operating and controlling a company with a view to achieve long term strategic goals to satisfy shareholders, creditors, employees, customers and suppliers, and complying with the legal and regulatory requirements, apart from meeting environmental and local community needs.
Report of SEBI committee on Corporate Governance defines corporate governance as the acceptance by management of the inalienable rights of shareholders as the true owners of the corporation and of their own role as trustees on behalf of the shareholders. It is about commitment to values, about ethical business conduct and about making a distinction between personal & corporate funds in the management of a company.
Issues involving corporate governance principles include:
- Internal controls and internal auditors
- The independence of the entity's external auditors and the quality of their audits
- Oversight of the preparation of the entity's financial statements
- Review of the compensation arrangements for the chief executive officer and other senior executives
Objective of the Research
To analyze corporate governance practice of BSE-30 companies for last five years with reference of mandatory disclosure described by SEBI for Indian companies.
To find out importance of corporate governance in Indian companies from the view point of the Company Secretary.
To find out the awareness of functioning of Corporate Governance amongst investors who are fundamental analyst. To evaluate the importance of corporate governance as a parameter for investor before investing.
Questionnaire for investors
Questionnaire for company secretary
Annual Report of Companies
Details of Companies from their respective websites
What is "good" Corporate Governance?
Bad governance is being recognized now as one of the root causes of corrupt practices in our societies. Major donors, institutional investors and international financial institutions provide their aid and loans in condition that reforms that ensure "good governance" are put in place by the recipient nations. As with nations, corporations too are expected to provide good governance to benefit all their stakeholders. At the same time, good corporate are not born, but are made by the combined efforts of al stakeholders, which include shareholders, board of directors, employees, customers, dealers, government and the society at large. Law and regulation alone cannot bring about changes in corporate to behave better to benefit all concerned. Directors and management, as goaded by stakeholders and inspired by societal values, have a very important role to play. The company and its officers, who, inter alia, include the board of directors and the officials, especially the senior management, should strictly follow a code of conduct.
There are four broad theories to explain and elucidate corporate governance. These are:
- Agency theory
- Stewardship theory
- Stakeholder theory
- Sociological theory
Recent thinking about strategic management and business policy has been influenced by agency cost theory, though the roots of the theory can be traced back to Adam Smith who identified an agency problem in the joint stock company. The fundamental theoretical basis of corporate governance is agency costs. Shareholders are the owners of any joint stock, limited liability Company, and are the principals of the same. By virtue of their ownership, the principals define the objectives of the company. The management, directly or indirectly selected by the shareholders to pursue such objectives, are the agents. While the principals generally assume that the agents would invariably carry out their objectives, it is often not so. In many instances, the objectives of managers are at variance from those of the shareholders. Such mismatch of objectives is called the agency problem; the cost inflicted by such dissonance is the agency cost. The core of corporate governance is designing and putting in place disclosures, monitoring, oversight and corrective systems that can align the objectives of the two sets of players as closely as possible and hence minimize agency costs.
The stewardship theory of corporate governance discounts the possible conflicts between corporate management and owners and shows a preference for board of directors made u primarily of corporate insiders. This theory assumes that managers are basically trustworthy and attach significant value to their own personal reputations. The market for managers with strong personal reputations serves as the primary mechanism to control behaviour, with more reputable managers being offered higher compensation packages.
The stakeholder theory is grounded in many normative, theoretical perspectives including ethics of care, the ethics of fiduciary relationships, social contract theory, theory of property rights, and so on. While it is possible to develop stakeholder analysis from a variety of theoretical perspectives, in practice much of stakeholder analysis does not firmly or explicitly root itself in a given theoretical tradition, but rather operates at the level of individual principles and norms for which it provides little formal justification. Stakeholder theory is often criticized, mainly because it is not applicable in practice by corporations
The sociological approach has focused mostly on board composition and implications for power and wealth distribution in the society. Under this theory, board composition, financial reporting, and disclosure and auditing are of utmost importance to realize the socio-economic objectives of corporations.
The Anglo-American model
This is also known as unitary board model, in which all directors participate in a single board comprising both executive and non-executive directors in varying proportions. This approach to governance tends to be shareholder oriented. It is also called the 'Anglo-Saxon' approach to corporate governance being the basis of corporate governance in America, Britain, Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth law countries including India.
The major features of this model are as follows:
- The ownership of companies is more or less equally divided between individual shareholders and institutional shareholders.
- Directors are rarely independent of management.
- Companies are typically run by professional managers who have negligible ownership stake. There is a fairly clear separation of ownership and management.
- Most institutional investors are reluctant activists. They view themselves as portfolio investors interested in investing in a broadly diversified portfolio of liquid securities. If they are not satisfied with a company's performance, they simply sell the securities in the market and quit.
Details about corporate governance norms.
Data regarding BSE-30 Companies. http://www.bseindia.com
All BSE-30 companies’ websites for their Annual reports.