Changing societal and executives' values: Their impact on corporate governance

Abstract
Scandals, top management misbehaviour and company failures resulting in a loss of investment and public trust in companies is well documented. Why has this corporate governance crisis happened, will it continue and what are implications for the board? A theoretical and empirical approach is taken to understand the changing nature of values in society reflected in executives to reveal the cause of the recent corporate governance crisis and implications for the board. Data from executives was collected from 163 owner/managers, senior managers and middle managers and combined with UK and US longitudinal population data. Results of the current research found empirical support for changing social values with the implication that the consensus of 'playing by the rules' has broken down and replaced by the need to outperform expectations even if that means bending or breaking the rules. This paper concludes with an action plan for the board agenda.
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