Kobe Steel is one of the pillars of the Japanese industrial establishment. In a few short weeks in October, its share price suffered a disastrous drop of some 40% following revelations by the company that over some years it had routinely produced fake quality control data. We look at its code of conduct, apply Japan’s Corporate Governance Code and our Golden Rules and suggest measures that should now be taken to stop this happening again.
The relevance of corruption to corporate governance is clear. A well-governed organisation will not allow corruption either in external transactions or internally. Yet in many companies and indeed regions around the world bad governance and corruption is still endemic. In our quest to improve standards of corporate governance, we review global progress in fighting corruption.
In this article about corporate taxation, we consider the issue of ethics in relation to the way companies currently approach the arrangement of their tax affairs. How do they respond to the tax inducements and the tax demands of the governments under whose regimes they carry out their businesses? How should the boards of multinational corporations and other international companies approach the making of policy in regard to paying taxes, and where do ethics come into it?
Whistleblowing is encouraged. If organisations followed our approach to corporate governance and surveyed stakeholders regularly it wouldn’t be necessary, but lots of them don’t, so arguably it is necessary. Either way, whistleblowing consequences are damaging for both parties.
Culture drives behaviour in any organisation, for better and for worse. Banking culture is notorious for its competitive, short-termist, bonus-obsessed and at times ruthless nature. Having recognised the damage this culture has had on public image, top bankers tried, following the 2007 crash, to spark fundamental reform. We look at how effective their efforts have been.