Reimagining Board Committees to Accommodate Worker Voice
Rutgers Bus L Rev, Vol 17, No 2, 38-50, Spring 2022
13 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2022
Date Written: May 31, 2022
Employees at US public corporations have increased their demands for their concerns to be heard at the very senior levels of management. If current trends continue, boards of directors could also be challenged to accommodate “worker voice” more formally. Rather than being caught flat-footed, boards should reimagine the process through which they receive information about employee sentiment with the goal of penetrating existing structural barriers. This essay contributes to the discussion of employees as stakeholders in the corporate governance system. It first provides an inside look, based on research and public disclosure, at how boards receive information about the concerns of its workforces within the traditional US board governance structure. It then suggests practical mechanisms for boards to hear and understand worker voice. While many experts and policymakers have repeatedly called for worker representation on boards in the form of directors selected by the employees, this essay proposes reforming the current board committee structure and creating other practical and achievable means of hearing worker sentiment to inform board oversight, decision-making, and CEO evaluation.
Keywords: boards, directors, corporate, governance, stakeholders, workers
JEL Classification: K22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation