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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2000

Christopher J. Cowton, Julie Drake and Paul Thompson

Whether from a desire to be seen to be socially responsible, in pursuit of perceived profit opportunities, or as a reaction to increased professionalism on the part of…

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2083

Abstract

Whether from a desire to be seen to be socially responsible, in pursuit of perceived profit opportunities, or as a reaction to increased professionalism on the part of charities, UK banks are paying increasing attention to the voluntary sector. Using secondary data, this paper investigates the market shares of banks amongst charities. It reveals that NatWest is the current market leader, but comparisons with a paper published a decade ago suggest that its market share and lead have diminished significantly. Further analysis reveals that one reason for that decline might be the recent growth in the share accounted for by the Co‐operative Bank, possibly as a consequence of the introduction of its ethical policy, some of the implications of which are discussed.

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International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1988

Christopher J. Cowton and Andrew Wirth

Fringe, or “non‐wage”, benefits typically form an important part of the compensation package provided for employees, having grown considerably during the 20th century. One…

Abstract

Fringe, or “non‐wage”, benefits typically form an important part of the compensation package provided for employees, having grown considerably during the 20th century. One of the more traditional types of benefit, of interest in this article, is the provision of goods and services to employees at a price below that which they would normally expect to pay. More specifically, we are interested in the sale, at a discount, of a company's own products, rather than the provision of other goods and services, such as meals or private health insurance, at low rates made possible by company subsidy or the exploitation of its buying power or facilities. While a company may sometimes sell discontinued lines or damaged stock to its employees, our focus is on the sale of normal products. Our primary purpose is to show how, with an understanding of cost and revenue relationships, the problem of setting the rate of discount can be approached. The analysis draws on and extends previous work on shareholder concessions.

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Personnel Review, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2004

Christopher J. Cowton

Ethical investment funds are retail financial products which explicitly add social or ethical goals or constraints to normal financial criteria in selecting their…

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6292

Abstract

Ethical investment funds are retail financial products which explicitly add social or ethical goals or constraints to normal financial criteria in selecting their underlying share portfolio. By means of a case study of a UK fund, this paper explores how the relationship between ethical criteria and financial performance might be handled, which is one of the critical issues that arise in putting ethical investment into practice. The research confirms perceptions of a tension between the implementation of an ethical policy and the achievement of good financial performance, and it identifies some of the ways which fund managers might seek to cope with that tension. However, by studying the financial management of an ethical fund in practice, the paper also reveals the ways in which there might be a positive correlation between the financial performance and the ethical effectiveness of a fund, thus providing a complementary perspective to the earlier empirical studies and discussions which have focused on the possibility of ethical concerns undermining financial success.

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Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1990

Christopher J. Cowton

Charities appear to be of growing significance inthe United Kingdom, particularly in the contextof changed attitudes towards the scope and roleof the welfare state. They…

Abstract

Charities appear to be of growing significance in the United Kingdom, particularly in the context of changed attitudes towards the scope and role of the welfare state. They are also becoming increasingly professional in their management. This article attempts to break new ground in considering charities as a segment for the provision of banking services, beginning with an account of the current policies of the major clearing banks. The second half of the article assesses current market shares, using publicly available data on a sample of large and medium‐sized charities.

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International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1986

Christopher J. Cowton

Many companies have introduced shareholder concession schemes, where the company provides a concession or “perk” on one or more of the company's products. Reasons for…

Abstract

Many companies have introduced shareholder concession schemes, where the company provides a concession or “perk” on one or more of the company's products. Reasons for introducing such a scheme include the provision of an additional return to shareholders, the generation of shareholder goodwill and loyalty or increased sales. Whatever the reasons, some cost to the company is involved. Factors for establishing a successful scheme are outlined.

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Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 86 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1985

Christopher J. Cowton and Peter C. Ho

The success of a credit system, in terms of both effectiveness and cost, is largely determined by policy established within the company. Too conservative a policy will…

Abstract

The success of a credit system, in terms of both effectiveness and cost, is largely determined by policy established within the company. Too conservative a policy will entail high opportunity cost through loss of business, but too liberal a policy results in the cost of tying up funds in debtors and the increased possibility of bad debts. A survey investigating building merchants' practices in Wales (1984), conducted by questionnaire, reflects some variety in approaching the provision of trade credit, but a relatively high degree of uniformity and lack of sophistication in monitoring systems. Producing statistical indicators of performance from a computer, ceasing to grant credit, or using external services such as credit insurance and factoring, are options which do not seem to have been fully explored.

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Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 85 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1999

Christopher J. Cowton and Julie E. Drake

The prevalence of rather negative, or at best mixed, attitudes of doctors towards participation in management has been reported in several previous research studies. This…

Abstract

The prevalence of rather negative, or at best mixed, attitudes of doctors towards participation in management has been reported in several previous research studies. This paper adds to that growing empirical literature, but complements most of the previous studies by focusing on general medical practitioners in primary care rather than on doctors in secondary care settings. The focus for the study were doctors who had agreed to undertake the lead partner role in the now‐defunct general practitioner fundholding initiative within the UK National Health Service. The findings indicate widespread reluctance but the presence of a minority of enthusiasts, which resonates with previous studies of secondary care settings. A finding of potential significance for future research and practice was that some doctors who were initially reluctant became more keen on undertaking a management role once they had experienced it.

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Journal of Management in Medicine, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-9235

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Article
Publication date: 17 February 2012

Lynn Avison and Christopher J. Cowton

The audit committee is one of the most prominent board sub‐committees, having a potentially important role to play in ensuring sound corporate governance. This paper aims

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2008

Abstract

Purpose

The audit committee is one of the most prominent board sub‐committees, having a potentially important role to play in ensuring sound corporate governance. This paper aims to examine and discuss the behaviour of companies following revisions to the UK's Revised Code.

Design/methodology/approach

A variety of annual report data from a sample of 50 UK companies, stratified according to size, is collected and analysed.

Findings

General compliance with many provisions of the Revised Code was found. All but one company had an audit committee comprising solely non‐executive directors. However, in about a quarter of cases the chairman was a member, and in some cases directors were not “independent” according to the Code's definition. Nevertheless, many companies exceeded the minimum stipulated requirements, for example the number of non‐executive directors on the audit committee or the number of meetings held. Some companies, though, did not follow recommended practice, particularly regarding the disclosure of information, and some explanations for non‐compliance were weak.

Research limitations/implications

Compliance with disclosure demands regarding audit committees could be improved, as could the quality of explanations when the recommendations of the Code are not followed. It would be sensible for regulators to monitor this, provide more detailed guidance and highlight examples of good practice. Given the resistance of many companies to corporate governance regulation and accusations of “box ticking”, future research should probe why many companies do more than is required or recommended. The research should be repeated when further revisions to the Code are made in respect of audit committees, and practice in countries other than the UK should be researched to provide comparative insights.

Originality/value

This paper provides useful information on the behaviour of companies following revisions to the UK's Revised Code.

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Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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Book part
Publication date: 14 July 2006

John A. Brierley, Christopher J. Cowton and Colin Drury

This paper uses the results of a questionnaire survey to conduct exploratory research into the importance of product costs in decision-making. The results of the research…

Abstract

This paper uses the results of a questionnaire survey to conduct exploratory research into the importance of product costs in decision-making. The results of the research reveal that product costs are at least important in selling price, make-or-buy, cost reduction, product design, evaluating new production process and product discontinuation decisions. Product costs that were used directly in decision-making were more important than those that were used as attention directing information and they were more important in product mix, output level and product discontinuation decisions in continuous production processes manufacturing. In general, the importance of product costs in decision-making did not vary between the methods used to allocate and assign overheads to product costs, and it was not related to operating unit size, product differentiation, competition and the level of satisfaction with the product costing system.

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Advances in Management Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-447-8

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2001

John A. Brierley, Christopher J. Cowton and Colin Drury

Reports the findings of a pilot survey into how product costs are calculated and how they are used in decision making in manufacturing industry in the UK. The survey…

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4425

Abstract

Reports the findings of a pilot survey into how product costs are calculated and how they are used in decision making in manufacturing industry in the UK. The survey examines how many accounting systems firms use, blanket overhead rates in product costing; the bases used to calculate overhead rates; the application of product costs in decision making; and profitability maps. The results show that a variety of methods are used to calculate product costs and that they are used to a significant extent in decision making.

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Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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