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Corporate Boards: New Strategies for Adding Value at the Top (Jossey-Bass Business & Management)by Jay Alden Conger
Synopses & Reviews
Corporate boards are under fire. Investors, government agencies, communities, and employees are scrutinizing boards' performance and challenging their decisions like never before-and it is likely this attention will only increase. How will the boards governing organizations in the twenty-first century change their practices and align their principles to satisfy those to whom they are accountable? The answer--say leadership and corporate governance experts Jay Conger, Edward Lawler, and David Finegold--lies in a dynamic and comprehensive set of practices and behaviors that make a board effective as a group. In Corporate Boards, the authors explore the roles that corporate governance will play in the twenty-first-century organization and identify the key practices that make a board effective. Questioning the long-held assumption that boards are solely responsible to shareholders, the authors propose that the focus of judging a board's success should move from a shareholder to a stakeholder point of view. The authors then go well beyond the issue of board accountability; they examine boards from a group and organizational effectiveness perspective and propose a framework that centers on what really influences effective governance behavior-information, knowledge, power, rewards, and opportunity. Corporate Boards is filled with helpful lists of best practices and sample evaluation forms for CEOs and board members, and the book draws on extensive survey data from more than one thousand directors of publicly traded Fortune 1000 firms. This comprehensive analysis provides a unique mix of tools, best practices, applied theory, and research that boards can use to benchmark their progress. The Authors Jay A. Conger is professor of organizational behavior at the London Business School and senior research scientist at the University of Southern California's (USC) Center for Effective Organizations. He is the author or coauthor of nine books, including Building Leaders (1999) and The Leader's Change Handbook (1998), both from Jossey-Bass. Edward E. Lawler III is director of the Center for Effective Organizations at USC and professor of management and organization in the USC Marshall School of Business. He has been named one of the country's leading management experts by Business Week magazine. David L. Finegold is associate research professor at the Center for Effective Organizations. His research focusing on the impact of the Internet on firms and their relationship with employees will be featured in Net-Enabled, a forthcoming book with Jossey-Bass.
What role should a board play in the twenty-first century organization? And what practices and behaviors make a board effective as a group? In Corporate Boards, three of the country's leading thinkers on leadership and effective organizational performance reveal how boards can change their practices and align their principles to successfully govern organizations in the twenty-first century. Presenting their reforms in a framework that focuses on the factors that influence effective governance behavior-information, knowledge, power, rewards, and opportunity-the authors show that it is behaviors, not practices, that really count. "The most comprehensive analysis of board practices available. Research results and real world examples that will help CEOs and directors build the corporate boards of the future. Effectively combines thoughtful analysis with action steps that make governance practices come alive."--Rich Teerlink, chairman and CEO (retired), Harley Davidson "This lastest book by the team of Conger, Lawler, and Finegold-which draws from Korn/Ferry's ongoing research on the policies and practices of corporate America's largest boards-is a comprehensive, thoughtful examination of the challenges faced by boards today, and what they can do to become more effective in meeting the needs of their diverse stakeholders. This is a valuable tool for anyone who now serves on a board-or is interested in learning more about the responsibilities inherent in assuming a directorship role."--Richard M. Ferry, chair, Korn/Ferry International "A defining piece of work in the emerging field of corporate governance. Based on solid and comprehensive research, the authors have provided a balanced and thoughtful road map for enhancing board effectiveness. Every CEO in the country should read this book and keep it on his or her desk."--David A. Nadler, chairman, Mercer Delta Consulting "The single best, data-based book on corporate goverance. Should be required reading for every senior executive and board member."--Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business Administration, University of Southern California, and author of Managing the Dream
This outstanding work reveals how boards governing 21st-century organizations can change their practices and align their principles to successfully govern the organization of the new economy. The authors propose that judging a board's effectiveness should be done not in a "shareholder" context but in a "stakeholder" context instead. They couch their reforms in a framework that focuses on what determines effective governance behavior: information, knowledge, power, and rewards.They argue it is behavior, not practices that count, and look at boards from a group and an organizational perspective.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 187-193) and index.
About the Author
JAY A. CONGER is professor of organizational behaviort at the London Business School and senior research scientist at the University of Southern California's (USC) Center for Effective Organizations. He is the author or coauthor of nine books, including Building Leaders (1999) and The Leader's Change Handbook (1998), both from Jossey-Bass. EDWARD E. LAWLER is director of the Center for Effective Organizations at USC and professor of management and organization in the USC Marshall School of Business. He has been named one of the country's leading management experts by Business Week magazine. DAVID L. FINEGOLD is associate research professor at the Center for Effective Organizations. His research focusing on the impact of the Internet on firms and their relationship with employees will be featured in Net-Enabled, a forthcoming book with Jossey-Bass.
Table of Contents
WHAT SHOULD BOARDS DO?
Critical Boards Activities.
Attributes of High Performance Boards.
PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES FOR EFFECTIVE BOARDS.
Information for High Performance Boards.
Evaluating the CEO.
Evaluating and Rewarding the Board?: Performance.
BOARDS IN THE FUTURE.
Governing in the Age of the Internet.
To Whom Are Boards Accountable?
Redesigning the Board: New Governance Forms.
Appendix: Research Background.
What Our Readers Are Saying
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