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The boardroom has always been the preserve of the gifted, the ambitious and the self-confident. In Anglo-Saxon business culture, board-level executives wield substantial power and, while other stakeholders have a voice, it is predominantly the views of these top few board members that count in terms of business planning and strategy. This dominance - previously unquestioned by all but the most powerful shareholders - has recently become a matter of urgent debate. The credit crisis and subsequent global recession have exposed failings in planning and strategy that have led to loss of business, sharply reduced earnings and, in some cases, bankruptcy. While many companies have blamed extraordinary economic conditions for their difficulties, investors and other stakeholders have come to see the corporate world as part of the problem.
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