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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2008

Rookmin Maharaj and Irene M. Herremans

The purpose of this paper is to investigate what motivated Shell Canada, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, to be one of the first companies in the world to report its

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate what motivated Shell Canada, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, to be one of the first companies in the world to report its environmental initiatives in 1991. It aims to explore how Shell Canada, driven by a set of core values and business principles, continues to make strides in the quality of its sustainability reporting and communication.

Design/methodology/approach

Shell historical reports and documents were reviewed and interview data gathered from company personnel.

Findings

The paper reveals that Shell Canada has gained a reputation for striving toward stakeholder engagement and transparency in its reporting as well as through its actions.

Practical implications

The paper offers advice to other companies as to how to improve their corporate communications regarding their environmental and sustainability performance.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates Shell Canada's efforts to initiate transparent sustainable development reporting and stakeholder engagement, two areas in which other companies can learn from Shell Canada.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 June 2009

Rookmin Maharaj

This paper aims to use the argument that formal regulations alone may not be the defining factor in improving corporate governance and the decision making process of the BOD.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to use the argument that formal regulations alone may not be the defining factor in improving corporate governance and the decision making process of the BOD.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on 20 semi‐structured interviews with board chairs, members of corporate boards, CEOs, and upper/executive management at 12 Canadian companies, a bird's eye view is taken from the top. A content analysis of the interviews was performed. a clear picture about the interaction and behaviour of directors emerged. Subsequently, three objectives that are required for effective decision‐making were developed: knowledge; motivation; and transmission channels/internal control. The analysis offers three critical objectives, which all boards should endeavour to accomplish.

Findings

These interviews demystify board process and provide the bases for three critical objectives for effective corporate governance: ascertain and embellish the knowledge base of directors; motivate directors to share and gather information; and ensure clear and fluent transmission channels exist.

Practical implications

The usual board measures such as CEO duality, insider and outsider ratio, number of board members and directors' share ownership may not be the only critical determinants of board effectiveness.

Originality/value

Conventional notions of decision making have neglected key human faculties and individual characteristics that combine to determine organizational outcomes. This paper fulfils a need for research in the area of board processes and board decision making and provides a roadmap to improve corporate governance within organizations.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 April 2008

Rookmin Maharaj

This paper aims to critique moral stakeholder theory (MST) and to contrast it to earlier strategic stakeholder approach (SSA).

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to critique moral stakeholder theory (MST) and to contrast it to earlier strategic stakeholder approach (SSA).

Design/methodology/approach

Interview data were gathered from top executives at 12 companies in the energy sector in Canada and an in‐depth literature review was conducted on MST and SSA.

Findings

“Value” for shareholder and stakeholder may not be mutually exclusive in some instances. MST may hold the key to giving the board a more useful, comprehensive framework of the firm's utility and purpose to society.

Practical implications

Organizations may be selected on their ethical performance by investors. Depending on whether ethical criteria are included in the definition of “firm's value”, decisions about which stakeholder theory to use become an issue of strategic importance to all organizations.

Originality/value

The paper illustrates how the board of directors as the governing body of the organisation may find that continuous assessment of the company's stakeholders is valuable in reducing risks.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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