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Corporate governance as custodianship of the business model

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Recently businesses have been encouraged to discuss their business models in their annual reports as a means of communicating their future intentions to readers of their financial statements. At the same time, corporate governance has continued to be a focus of attention. In this paper we set out the view that a useful way of regarding corporate governance is that of custodianship of the business model – by which we mean that the directors are responsible for sustaining and developing a company’s business model. A comparison of corporate governance and the activities required to sustain and develop the business model shows them to be essentially the same. A business model view has the advantage that it unifies the compliance and monitoring aspects of governance with the advisory and strategy-setting roles of directors, roles that have sometimes been seen as conflicting. Viewing corporate governance from a business model perspective highlights aspects of board responsibilities that are not explicitly recognised in the UK Corporate Governance Code and may have been neglected in the prevailing emphasis on compliance, but which are intimately connected to both network relationships and corporate culture which are now becoming a source of concern.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-228
JournalJournal of Management and Governance
Volume20
Issue number2
Early online date21 Mar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

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