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Research Case studies

An Interrelational and Inegrative perspective on Corporate Governance and its Implications

Our work

The key theoretical frameworks on corporate governance were developed previously at the Centre for Director Education, Faculty of Business and Law, and lately at the Centre of Governance, Leadership and Global Responsibility (CGLGR), Leeds Business School, led by Professor Mervyn King (Honorary President of the Centre), Professor Simon Robinson (Director of the Centre) and Dr. William Sun (Deputy Director of the Centre). Extended practical models and tools have been developed based on the key thoughts from the theoretical frameworks, which have been applied in several governance practices and have generated significant impacts. Further applications into other areas are ongoing. A summary of key themes and the models/tools/practices and applications is shown as follows:   

Responsible and effective leadership and governing body: 

  • The European Governance Model™ developed by Professor Dean Fathers (Visiting Professor of the Centre CGLGR, Chair of NHS East Midlands) and applied in NHS since 2012.
Integrative thinking on corporate governance: 
  • Integrated reporting has been promoted and applied globally through the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) led by Professor Mervyn King (Chairman and Honorary Chairman of GRI, and Honorary President of the Centre CGLGR) since 2010, and promoted in the UK through the Centre’s Integrated Reporting Research Group led by Dr. Fiona Robertson since 2016.
Ethical and responsible leadership in governance:
  • Applied to the West Yorkshire Police by Professor Simon Robinson who has been appointed as the independent chair of their internal ethics committee since 2016.

Our impact

Our research on corporate governance theory and frameworks provided the basis for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Leeds Business School and the Rugby Football League (RFL) to develop a corporate governance framework for the RFL and its associated professional clubs and charitable foundations, which helped to promote more effective governance practice, leading to improvements in financial and operational sustainability. A diagnostic tool was developed on the basis of the underpinning research, reflecting a dynamic, processual view of governance with complex stakeholder interrelationships, thus helping to improve governance systems and processes and awareness of, and accountability in, the clubs’ stakeholder environment.

The European Governance Model™ is a governance framework based on Five Key Governance Criteria (The Governing Body, Value Creation, Organisation Core, Value Protection, and Organisational Impact) which underpins the premise that an effective governing body would drive effective and sustainable organisational performance. The model has been applied to the Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, and other organisations and has facilitated those organisations’ Governing Bodies to make decisions about the direction and control of the organisations in line with its key purposes. Organisations were encouraged to go through the Self-Assessment process. Licenced trainers then trained the staff within the organisations utilising the same tools. Self-assessment enabled the organisations to consider their existing governance arrangements, competencies and maturity against the Model highlighting key strengths and recommendations for further improvement. 

Integrative thinking on corporate governance and the resulted integrated reporting system promoted by Professor Mervyn King has created huge impacts on social and environmental wellbeing world-wide. Since 2010, the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) led by Professor Mervyn King has promoted Integrated Reporting on an international basis to improve communications about value creation, advance the system of corporate reporting, and make significant contributions to financial stability and sustainable development. So far, sixteen regulators around the world have recommended or moved to align with integrated reporting. Many corporate governance codes have encouraged voluntary adoption of integrated reporting, including in South Africa, Japan and Malaysia. Voluntary adoption of integrated reporting has spread to 64 countries globally, a 27% increase in integrated reports globally since 2015. In the UK, the Centre CGLGR’s Integrated Reporting Research Group led by Dr. Fiona Robertson has been working with many business organisations for understanding and promoting integrated reporting since 2016.

Next steps

The applications of the European Governance Model™, the Board Diagnostic Tool (BDT), and the promotion of integrated reporting framework have been continuing to spread into various practices in the private and public sectors, including large businesses, sports, NHS, police, higher education, etc. 

Recently the Centre CGLGR has been developing partnerships with Globethics (an international network of applied ethics located in Geneva), Kilpatrick (an international executive search company headquartered in Italy), and African Progress Panel (a Swiss-based foundation) to apply the theories and tools into governance practices worldwide through their networks. 

CGLGR has also initiated the development of Harvard Style Case Study Series to understand the theoretical applications and implications in practices. In 2018, the case studies have started in the development process with Kilpatrick, Globethics.net, University of Bolzano (for the WOB High School), and Hohenfried SEN village. More are to follow in the future. 

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