ABSTRACT

Countries, companies, and boards develop their own unique cultures – the beliefs, relationships, values, and what is considered acceptable. Board culture can be affected by board size, structure and membership, relationships and conflict within the board, characteristics such as tradition, trust, status, commitment, communication, conformity, and also by corporate accountability, policy-making, and management supervision. Boards develop their own style: some being little more than a rubber stamp, a few like a comfortable country club, others reflecting board members’ interests, while the best can be considered professional. The leadership role of the board chair is crucial and can include strategic leadership, arbitration among board members, linking the board with management and representing the enterprise publicly (far more than just managing meetings). Corporate governance involves a political process, which concerns the use of power, and needs strong leadership. Corporate ethics begin with the board.