From The Handbook of Board Governance Richard Leblanc, Editor, with John Fraser. Copyright [c] 2016 by John Wiley & Sons Inc. Published by Wiley (www.wiley.com/business).
The field of corporate governance is in a state of continuous change. Enron and WorldCom, among others in the early 2000s, were largely implosions that caused great harm to shareholders, employees, pensioners, and other stakeholders, and resulted in reformulating the independence of audit committees and the reporting relationship of external auditors. The global financial crisis of the late 2000s was more widespread and invoked greater outrage and regulation. There has been considerably more regulation, and it is reflected within this Handbook.
The drivers of strengthened corporate governance and the oversight role that boards should serve are the public, the media, legislators and regulators, institutional investors, shareholder activists, academics, and other stakeholders.
Impediments to good governance, transparency, and accountability may include resistant company management, captured or complacent regulators, corrupt government officials, controlling investors or families, advisors retained by defensive management, and sometimes intransigent or underperforming directors themselves.
Some of the challenges to increased strengthening of governance, voiced to the editor, include these views: "This (stronger governance regulation) is regulatory overreach and the regulators lacks jurisdiction"; "We have never done it this way"; "It is too...