Corporate Governance Ratings: Got the Grade... What Was the Test?

Posted: 3 Oct 2009

See all articles by David F. Larcker

David F. Larcker

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business

Brian Tayan

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business

Date Written: October 15, 2007

Abstract

In 2007, there were three prominent corporate governance ratings firms - The Corporate Library (TCL), Governance Metrics International (GMI), and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). These firms assessed the effectiveness and deficiency of the governance systems of thousands of publicly traded companies. Although members of the investing public agreed that sound policies were important to protect the interest of shareholders from potentially self-interested managers, there were many questions around the usefulness of published governance ratings themselves. Questions ranged from whether a system of governance could be adequately summarized in a single, numerical score to what a high or low rating was supposed to indicate. Furthermore, allegations that ISS engaged in a conflict of interest by selling consulting services to companies on how to improve their ratings led some to question the objectivity of the ratings process.

Keywords: Corporate Governance, Board of Directors, Performance Measurement

JEL Classification: G3

Suggested Citation

Larcker, David F. and Tayan, Brian, Corporate Governance Ratings: Got the Grade... What Was the Test? (October 15, 2007). Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University Teaching Case No. CG -08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1482065

David F. Larcker (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )

Graduate School of Business
518 Memorial Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States
650-725-6159 (Phone)

Brian Tayan

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

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