The Annual General Meeting as an Accountability Mechanism
20 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2008 Last revised: 26 Mar 2012
Date Written: 2005
This review of Annual General Meetings (AGMs) as they evolved historically in English parishes and early joint-stock companies shows the manner in which they provided valuable opportunities to fulfill organizational accountability. AGMs enabled members to call elected governors to account and, in generating forums for organizational construction, supplied models which were foundational in early company law. As faceto- face meetings, AGMs were heterogeneous and presented non-financial information to augment publicly available financial information.
Whilst low attendance at AGMs indicates apathy and modern technological advances may enable their replacement, recent calls to revise the legal requirement for an AGM have not gained traction. This paper therefore suggests a recommitment to the process of AGM accountability as practiced in early public sector and profit-oriented organizations. This will enable today's organizations to utilize the potential of the AGM as a formal and transparent mechanism to deliver accountability.
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