Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance Meaning, Definition, Nature, Scope, Need and Objectives

Table of Contents:-

  • Meaning of Corporate Governance
  • Definition of Corporate Governance
  • Nature of Corporate Governance
  • Scope of Corporate Governance
  • Need for Corporate Governance
  • Objectives of Corporate Governance
  • Parties of Corporate Governance
  • Structure of Corporate Governance

Meaning of Corporate Governance

The success of every organization is highly dependent on its governance system. Corporate governance refers to the rules, regulations, laws, policies, procedures, customs, and duties followed by any corporation or company to ensure smooth operations.

An organization can be controlled and directed only through a well-functioning governance system, typically by the Board of Directors (BOD). 

The company’s relationship with its stakeholders, including shareholders, the Board of Directors (BOD), employees, clients, and dealers, is important for effective corporate governance. Ethical values and morals followed by the entire organization and the company’s goals are also integral parts of corporate governance.

Definition of Corporate Governance

Effective corporate governance benefits the company’s success, the well-being of its employees, and the society in which it operates. It focuses on establishing policies and practices, ensuring efficient utilization of resources, and managing them responsibly.

The main purpose of corporate governance is to maintain the equilibrium between the economic and social objectives of the organization. This balance helps align individual and societal goals, ultimately contributing to the company’s sustainability and overall success.

According to the Cadbury Committee, “Corporate governance is defined as the system by which companies are directed and controlled”.

Rafael La Porta states, “Corporate governance to a large extent is a set of mechanisms through which outside investors protect themselves against expropriation by the insiders”.

According to Sternberg, “Corporate governance describes ways of ensuring that corporate actions, assets and agents are directed at achieving the corporate objectives established by the corporation shareholders”.

Nature of Corporate Governance

The nature of corporate governance can be understood through the following key points:

  1. Ethical by Nature
  2. Systematic
  3. Wide Scope
  4. Integral Part of the Contract
  5. Represents Business Decisions
  6. Leads to Smooth Functioning of Markets

1) Ethical by Nature: The ethical values followed by the company greatly influence corporate governance. Therefore, the Board of Directors (BOD) must always remain fair and unbiased to maintain a healthy ethical environment within the organization.

2) Wide Scope: In today’s global business environment, corporate governance has become a fundamental practice widely adopted by nearly all companies worldwide. Thus, the corporate governance system is universally applicable.

3) Systematic: Corporate governance is a systematic approach that emphasizes, regulations, laws, and practices that guide a company’s operations. Since these laws are established to protect stakeholders’ interests, they must be followed sincerely and honestly.

4) Represents Business Decisions: Corporate governance encompasses an organization’s ethical and moral values, which ultimately guide its decision making processes. Companies with effective governance systems can make legal and morally appropriate decisions and provide value to their investors by prudently managing their investments.

5) Integral Part of the Contract: People dealing or involved in any contract with a company significantly emphasize its governance system. An effective governance system helps enhance the economic prosperity of a company and increases trust among its customers.

6) Leads to Smooth Functioning of Markets: Effective corporate governance is an indicator of market development, as it facilitates smooth functioning and ultimately contributes to the economic prosperity of the global business community.

Scope of Corporate Governance

The scope of corporate governance includes the following points:

The scope of Corporate Governance includes:

  1. Auditors
  2. Shareholders/Institutional Investors
  3. Regulatory Authority
  4. Stock Markets
  5. Govemment
  6. Contractual Stakeholders

1) Auditors

The role played by external auditors in corporate governance is important for ensuring accountability, transparency, and integrity within organizations. The practice of stakeholders appointing auditors has been a longstanding tradition dating back to the 19th century. Because these auditors are known to stakeholders, the risk of misuse and misrepresentation of reports is minimized. In today’s business environment, stakeholders appoint professional auditors to review the reports provided to them by their directors.

2) Stock Markets

In today’s business environment, stakeholders appoint professional auditors to review the reports provided to them by their directors. These rules specify the requirements for a company to be listed and regulate its activities within the stock market. Stock markets play an important role on domestic and global scales by helping develop governance codes for companies worldwide.

3) Shareholders / Institutional Investors

Shareholders, including investors and stockholders, play an important role in corporate governance by establishing a relationship with the company. In the past, corporate governance involved direct communication between shareholders and the company, as all shares belonged to individual shareholders. However, in today’s modern corporate world, intermediaries play a significant role in governance.

4) Government

Government laws, orders, rules, and regulations significantly impact the governance structure of companies. The effectiveness of corporate governance depends on healthy relationships between the government and the company. Established laws enable companies to carry out their operations within legal confines. The government performs several functions to develop an effective corporate governance system, such as registering companies, keeping records of relevant corporate documents, and revising various Companies Acts.

5) Regulatory Authority

Most companies have hired corporate regulators to monitor stock market activities and ensure compliance with governance rules. These supervisory bodies ensure adherence to the company’s governance codes and standards.

6) Contractual Stakeholders

Stakeholders with contractual relationships with the company are known as contractual stakeholders.

These stakeholders include employees, dealers, suppliers, contractors, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers. Contractual stakeholders are also considered an important part of ensuring effective corporate governance.

In addition to these factors, the media now plays a vital role in corporate governance, especially through investigative journalism. They focus on various business matters and activities that indirectly impact the governance structure of companies.

Need for Corporate Governance

Corporate governance is essential to every organization, playing a crucial role in its overall success. The importance of corporate governance can be understood through the following reasons:

1) Globalization

Due to the rise of globalization, challenges for the corporate sector have increased. Companies must establish and maintain an efficient corporate governance system to confront and successfully overcome these challenges. Using international standards rather than traditional principles can help companies become more professional and enable them to tackle future challenges confidently.

2) Adapting to Changes

The intensifying domestic and international competition has significantly altered the economic environment for companies. Companies must establish a robust governance framework to survive in today’s evolving business landscape. They must identify their priorities and implement new policies and principles to achieve their goals.

3) Increasing Credibility

The fast-paced evolution of the business world has presented numerous challenges for professionals working in various companies. Investors, as the primary source of capital formation, are crucial for funding companies. Shareholding patterns constantly evolve to generate profits for the company and its investors. Therefore, companies must establish a robust governance system to overcome these obstacles and enhance credibility.

4) Transparency to Stakeholders

People investing in a company expect transparency and accountability in all transactions conducted by the company. Companies must prioritize the interests of their investors, which can be achieved through implementing proper governance practices. This governance system may include specific laws designed to safeguard the interests of investors.

5) Benefits to Stakeholders

An effective governance system prioritizes profit maximization for the company and its stakeholders. A company must recognize and enhance shareholders’ value to increase its wealth. This benefit can be achieved by implementing a robust corporate governance system.

Objectives of Corporate Governance

The existence and success of any company heavily depend on its governance system. It extends beyond the guidelines and regulations of the company, encompassing several additional objectives that aim to achieve more than just enhancing shareholder value.

Objectives of Corporate Governance include:

  1. Strengthens Confidence
  2. Balanced Board
  3. Relevant Information to Shareholders
  4. Investment Tool
  5. Utilisation of Resources
  6. Transparency
  7. Clarity of Policies and Procedures
  8. Vision of the Board
  9. Resolving Tool
  10. Developing Trust

1) Strengthens Confidence

The company’s governance system has consistently delivered high profits, boosting stakeholder’s confidence and reliability.

2) Transparency

Besides complying with legal regulations, an effective governance system gives equal importance to transparency between stakeholders and the company’s management. This helps enhance the company’s credibility and creates greater profit for the investors.

3) Balanced Board

Corporate governance ensures that the board consists of an equal number of non-executive and independent directors to ensure that decisions are made impartially and in the best interest of investors.

4) Clarity of Policies and Procedures

An effective governance system ensures that the policies and procedures followed by the board are transparent, providing clarity on all transactions for the company and its investors.

5) Relevant Information to Shareholders

The board ensures that all relevant information regarding the growth and development of the company is provided to shareholders.

6) Vision of the Board

An effective governance system aligns with the board’s long-term vision for the company and the strategies implemented to generate wealth for its stakeholders.

7) Investment Tool

An effective governance system encourages investors to engage in long-term investments, thereby enhancing the efficiency and profitability of capital markets.

8) Resolving Tool

A governance system serves as a powerful mechanism to resolve any conflicts and disagreements between stakeholders and company members, especially when these conflicts are related to their respective interests.

9) Utilisation of Resources

A good governance system focuses on efficiently utilising resources at the company’s disposal. Maximising the efficient use of the company’s assets helps increase productivity, maximising benefits for stakeholders.

10) Developing Trust

Corporate governance effectively fosters trust among stakeholders in the company’s abilities.

Parties of Corporate Governance

Corporate governance consists of three main components which are given as follows: 

Parties of Corporate Governance include:

  1. BOD
  2. Stakeholders
  3. Management

1) Board of Directors (BOD)

In most organizations, the Board of Directors is responsible for making the majority of decisions. Therefore, decisions regarding corporate governance—such as establishing strategies and objectives, implementing these strategies, managing and supervising activities conducted under corporate governance, and periodically assessing the company’s progress—are carried out by the Board of Directors (BOD). The Board of Directors (BOD) is also responsible for ensuring transparency and informing investors and shareholders about all company matters.

2) Stakeholders

In corporate governance, shareholders are mainly responsible for appointing directors and auditors to ensure transparency and accountability within the company. Shareholders and investors play crucial roles in any company; therefore, they have the right to inquire and receive relevant information regarding the company’s operations and progress. For transparency and accountability, shareholders must have access to updates on the activities conducted by the company’s members and the organisation’s overall development.

3) Management

The role of management in corporate governance is to implement the directives provided by the Board of Directors (BOD). This includes managing and supervising the tasks and operations performed by employees and providing timely reports to the board on all ongoing activities. The role played by management ensures the effective functioning of the governance system.

Structure of Corporate Governance

The logical skeleton or framework of the company serves as the foundational structure that represents the main components and their relationships within the organization. An effective organizational structure defines the company’s operations and establishes clear connections between various departments and roles.

These structures are mainly presented in the form of an organizational chart, allowing for a clear understanding of the different operations conducted within the company. Previously, the structure was presented in a hierarchical form where the board held the top position on the organizational chart and services were positioned at the bottom.

In today’s business environment, customer satisfaction is kept at the top of the chart. The services offered by the company are designed with the customer in mind, ensuring their needs are always prioritized. Generally, corporate governance is a complex system as it performs several functions at the same time.

It distributes various responsibilities and authorities throughout the company to ensure smooth operations. The governance system of a company is considered the indicator of its overall health, as it determines the success and failure of the organization to a greater extent. An effective governance structure ensures the seamless flow of accurate and valuable information within the organization and to its stakeholders. 

It is also responsible for reminding the people about their position within the company and their relationships with other members both within and outside the organization.

It represents the boundaries of the company and the interconnection among its key components. A well-defined organizational structure enables employees to easily understand to whom they have to render their services and from whom they can ask for support. A company includes both formal and informal structures. Formal structures include departments and committees.

Effective Corporate Governance

On the other hand, informal structures encompass teams, ad hoc committees, support groups, and other less rigidly defined entities. Many companies believe that the relationships established by the organization with employees through formal structure charts are less influential than informal relationships.

Thus, promoting informal relationships within a corporate setting can have a beneficial impact on corporate governance.

However, the company should carefully and periodically monitor the impact of informal relationships on its operations to ensure that they align with the company’s best interests. Regularly observing and evaluating these relationships is essential for companies to prevent potential conflicts or negative consequences against the company’s interest.

According to the Companies Act, of 1985, “Shadow Directors perform the activities of observing and identifying these informal relationships”

The established governance structure should be understandable, transparent, and error-free.

Directors must be held accountable for all activities within their purview. They must ensure that all actions taken and decisions are made under their strict supervision. By doing so, they can protect the organization’s reputation and ensure its long-term success.

Balancing Innovation and Security

The Internet provides vast resources and opportunities for organizations to innovate and grow worldwide, but it also presents several challenges for them in maintaining an effective corporate governance structure. Misuse of the internet by staff members for personal reasons can lead to neglect of their professional responsibilities.

An ineffective computer system can lead to unauthorized access and theft of important and confidential information of the company.

Downloading files containing viruses and receiving large amounts of junk mail can significantly impede the optimal performance of a computer system. Therefore, an effective computer system is of utmost priority for the company’s governance structure. However, many companies need to prioritize the importance of proper structure within their organization. A prime example of this concept is railways, whose infrastructure remains constant, resulting in a rigid system.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top