Directors as Guardians of Compliance and Ethics within the Corporate Citadel: What the Policy Community Should Know : Conference Proceedings

Directors as Guardians of Compliance and Ethics within the Corporate Citadel: What the Policy Community Should Know : Conference Proceedings

Directors as Guardians of Compliance and Ethics within the Corporate Citadel: What the Policy Community Should Know : Conference Proceedings

Directors as Guardians of Compliance and Ethics within the Corporate Citadel: What the Policy Community Should Know : Conference Proceedings

Synopsis

RAND convened a symposium on the perspective and role of corporate boards of directors in overseeing their firms' ethics and compliance matters. These conference proceedings summarize the event and the discussions, which focused on oversight challenges that directors face, board responsibility for corporate culture, and steps that business leaders and policymakers might take to better encourage and empower directors in their oversight role.

Excerpt

The collapse of financial markets in late 2008 has invited renewed questions about the governance, compliance, and ethics practices of firms throughout the U.S. and global economies. On May 12, 2010, rand convened a symposium in Washington, D.C., on the perspective and role of corporate boards of directors in overseeing ethics and compliance matters within their firms. Participants included thought leaders from the ranks of public company directors at major corporations, together with business executives, ethics and compliance officers, and stakeholders from the nonprofit sector, academia, and government. Discussions focused on the challenges that directors face in this rapidly evolving role; on the responsibility of boards to oversee corporate cultures that foster integrity and compliance with the law; and on steps that business leaders and policymakers might take to better encourage and empower directors in their oversight and, by extension, to strengthen compliance mechanisms and ethical leadership within firms.

These rand conference proceedings summarize key issues and topics from the May 12, 2010, symposium. the document is not intended to be a transcript; instead it is organized by the major themes of discussion, pointing out areas of agreement as well as disagreement. With the exception of three invited papers that were written in advance and presented by symposium participants, we do not attribute remarks to specific persons.

This report was funded with pooled resources from the rand Center for Corporate Ethics and Governance, with additional support provided by Bridgeway. These proceedings should be of interest to policymakers, regulators, corporate directors and executives, compliance and ethics practitioners, shareholders, and other stakeholders with interests in corporate governance, ethics, and compliance practice issues, both in the United States and abroad.

The rand center for corporate ethics and governance

The rand Center for Corporate Ethics and Governance is committed to improving public understanding of corporate ethics, law, and governance, and to identifying specific ways that businesses can operate ethically, legally, and profitably at the same time. the center’s work is supported by voluntary contributions from private-sector organizations and individuals with interests in research on these topics.

The center is part of the rand Institute for Civil Justice (ICJ), whose mission is to improve private and public decisionmaking on civil legal issues by supplying policymakers with the results of objective, empirically based, analytic research. icj facilitates change in the civil justice system by analyzing trends and outcomes, identifying and evaluating policy options, and bringing together representatives of different interests to debate alternative solutions to policy problems. icj builds on a long tradition of rand research characterized by . . .

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