The 13th edition of the Corporate Governance Workshop convened by the European Institute of Advanced Studies in Management (EIASM) was hosted by SDA Bocconi in Milano, Italy. Approximately 50 leading thinkers and researchers from over 20 countries gathered to explore emerging trends in the fields of board practice and corporate governance. Nearly 50 presentations were accepted onto the two-day programme. Highlights from the second day follow, together with some overall reflections (highlights from the first day are posted in a separate summary):
Overall, the conference provided a wonderful forum for leading board and corporate governance researchers from around the world (especially Europe, but also North America and Asia) to get together to share ideas and discuss emerging trends. The collaboration produced some wonderful debates; strong agreement that less is known about corporate governance than what most researchers and consultants (especially) claim to know; and, an invitation to return in 2017 (which I will probably accept). However, there was one notable disappointment: mine was the only presentation informed by observations of what boards actually do. Researchers and consultants need to get off their backsides and get inside boardrooms if they are to truly understand corporate governance and provide credible recommendations of what boards should do in practice.
More personally, I was approached by three different people to collaborate on a few different projects, which was gratifying. Two approaches in particular led to further exchanges over lunch and dinner: one to synthesise the learning from my board observation studies (the board's influence on firm performance) with research into psychological factors and group decision-making, and the other to dig into the performance of local government councils (this second project is of special relevance given an independent assessment project I'm currently involved with). Where these will lead remains to be determined. However the fact that people around the world are starting to realise that we need to understand how boards can be a source of value creation (because this relationship is simply not understood now, despite what most consultants claim) was heartening. I look forward to the journey in the coming months, including return visits to UK, Finland, The Netherlands and Italy in early 2017.
If you wish to know more about the conference; receive papers on topics of interest; or, pose a question or commission some applied research, please get in touch. I'd be delighted to hear from you and to serve you.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.