Future Research Directions - Corporate Governance and Business Ethics

Perhaps the major issue in corporate governance research stems from our limited understanding of what really goes on in directors’ minds and inside boardrooms the “fields”, “symbolic capital” and “habitus” that comprise the “practice” (Bourdieu 1984) of corporate governance. Current theories focus upon external impacts based around a static view of the corporate entity. Conventional models do not look at the process of governing as the evolving sum of experiences of those who govern. Related to this is a research issue that focuses upon developing a deeper understanding of directors’ knowledge, experience and skills and the effects of these upon behavior, particularly in decision making processes. Some of this type of research has occurred (Leblanc and Gillies 2005; McNulty et al. 2005), but its findings, whilst valuable, are often limited by methodology focused on variance analysis and as such are far from definitive or significant. Such research is also important if we are to build a picture of the state and nature of the “talent pool”. Also, we must recognize in all of this that governance does not take place in a vacuum; context is critical, and our accounts of governing must in turn account for the influence of politics, polity, culture, economics and the natural environment.

These related issues reflect a renewed interest in the “practice turn” in organization and management studies (Schatzki et al. 2001), particularly in what key organization members do to realize strategy. An approach that focuses upon process will allow the research community to fully and properly understand the complexities of governing and to assess the implementation of best practice or deep causation in decision making.

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Corporate Governance and Business Ethics Topics