Defining and Achieving Good Governance
Turnbull, S. 2016, Defining and achieving good governance. In Aras, G., & Ingley, C. (Eds.) Corporate Behavior and Sustainability: Doing Well by Being Good, Farnham, UK: Ashgate Gower Publishers.
18 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2015 Last revised: 14 Jan 2016
Date Written: March 1, 2015
The research question for this paper is to identify how some widely accepted governance practices are not necessarily consistent with the objectives of good governance. One reason is that there is little agreement as to what are the objectives of generic good governance, be it in the public, private or non-profit sectors. The objective of good governance suggested for all sectors in this paper is the ability of an organization to further the purpose for its existence without imposing costs, harms and risks on society while acting equitably and ethically. In this way Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) become integrated into corporate governance while minimizing the extent, cost and need for government laws, regulations, regulators, legal actions and codes. However, many laws, regulations and codes accepted, promoted and even imposed by some regulators and governance-rating agencies include unethical counter productive conflicts of interests. Examples are identified with suggestions on how corporate constitutions could be amended to remove and/or ethically manage commonly accepted problems on a self-enforcing basis by separating governance powers from management. A separation of powers facilitates stakeholder engagement to obtain feedback and correction on any costs, harms and risks introduced by the organization while obtaining intelligence for achieving operating benefits with good governance. Because unethical counter productive practices are so widely accepted by regulators and practitioners, this paper concludes that the involvement of lay lawmakers is required to provide the leadership for achieving good governance.
Keywords: Conflicts, Co-regulation, CSR, Ethics, Self-governance
JEL Classification: B41, D21, D22, D63, G30, K12, K22, K23, L14, L20, L50, M14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation