The Science of Corporate Governance

25 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2002

See all articles by Shann Turnbull

Shann Turnbull

International Institute for Self-Governance; Sustainable Money Working Group; New Garden City Alliance

Date Written: October 2001


Transaction Byte Analysis (TBA) is introduced as a basis to ground corporate governance in the science of information and control described as cybernetics. TBA provides fundamental criteria for evaluating the governance integrity of any type of organisation because all individuals possess physiological and neurological limits to receive, store, manipulate and transmit information measured in bytes. Cybernetics laws of requisite variety in communication channels, decision making centres and control agents provide strategies for overcoming human variations and their limitations in managing complexity. The paper identifies the cybernetic advantages of compound boards and concludes that a unitary board cannot reliably govern complex firms.

Keywords: Bytes, Control, Compound board, Cybernetics, Distributed decisions, Firm architecture, Governance, Information, Regulation, Requisite variety, Supplementation, Transaction Byte Analysis, Unitary boards

JEL Classification: B49, D20, D70, D80, G30, L20, L30, M10

Suggested Citation

Turnbull, Shann, The Science of Corporate Governance (October 2001). Available at SSRN: or

Shann Turnbull (Contact Author)

International Institute for Self-Governance ( email )

PO Box 266 Woollahra
Cell: +61418222378
Sydney, New South Wales 1350
+61293278487 (Phone)
+61280655905 (Fax)

SKYPE: shann.turnbull

Sustainable Money Working Group ( email )

Holyoake House
Hanover Street
Manchester, M60 0AS
United Kingdom

New Garden City Alliance ( email )

113 Guinness Court
London, UK, SE1 3TA
United Kingdom
+44 207 378 1902 (Phone)


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