Corporate law and Governance






Corporate law and governance broadly refers to the mechanisms, processes and relations by which corporations are controlled and directed. Governance structures and principles identify the distribution of rights and responsibilities among different participants in the corporation (such as the board of directors, managers, shareholders, creditors, auditors, regulators, and other stakeholders) and includes the rules and procedures for making decisions in corporate affairs.

Corporate governance includes the processes through which corporations' objectives are set and pursued in the context of the social, regulatory and market environment. Governance mechanisms include monitoring the actions, policies, practices, and decisions of corporations, their agents, and affected stakeholders. Corporate governance practices are affected by attempts to align the interests of stakeholders.

Corporate governance has also been more narrowly defined as "a system of law and sound approaches by which corporations are directed and controlled focusing on the internal and external corporate structures with the intention of monitoring the actions of management and directors and thereby, mitigating agency risks which may stem from the misdeeds of corporate officers."

One source defines corporate governance as "the set of conditions that shapes the ex post bargaining over the quasi-rents generated by a firm."The firm itself is modelled as a governance structure acting through the mechanisms of contract. Here corporate governance may include its relation to corporate finance.

Several principles of corporate governance:

Rights and equitable treatment of shareholders: Organizations should respect the rights of shareholders and help shareholders to exercise those rights. They can help shareholders exercise their rights by openly and effectively communicating information and by encouraging shareholders to participate in general meetings.

Interests of other stakeholders: Organizations should recognize that they have legal, contractual, social, and market driven obligations to non-shareholder stakeholders, including employees, investors, creditors, suppliers, local communities, customers, and policy makers.

Role and responsibilities of the board: The board needs sufficient relevant skills and understanding to review and challenge management performance. It also needs adequate size and appropriate levels of independence and commitment.

Integrity and ethical behaviour: Integrity should be a fundamental requirement in choosing corporate officers and board members. Organizations should develop a code of conduct for their directors and executives that promotes ethical and responsible decision making.

Disclosure and transparency: Organizations should clarify and make publicly known the roles and responsibilities of board and management to provide stakeholders with a level of accountability. They should also implement procedures to independently verify and safeguard the integrity of the company's financial reporting. Disclosure of material matters concerning the organization should be timely and balanced to ensure that all investors have access to clear, factual information.

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