This article has been written by Spriha Smith pursuing a Diploma in US Corporate Law and Paralegal Studies course from LawSikho.

This article has been edited and published by Shashwat Kaushik.


Leadership and management styles are greatly influenced by corporate governance practices. Healthy company governance encourages managers and other leaders to build team member’s motivation and trust. Numerous studies reveal that a country’s capital market size determines how quickly its economy grows. In order to secure the survival of business enterprises, well defined norms and regulations are necessary for controlling and general supervision of the businesses. It is within this framework that the phrase “corporate governance” first appeared and gained popularity as a barometer for business.

The structure of rules, bylaws, policies, and practices that regulate and manage an organisation’s operations is known as corporate governance. It is primarily about balancing the interests of various parties involved in a business, including investors, senior management, clients, vendors, lenders, the government, and the community. Effective corporate governance is a crucial component of any prosperous business. When carried out correctly, it offers the management team a path to take in order to fulfil the company’s goal. A corporation with sound governance practices will be trustworthy, well-directed, risk-aware and future-focused. It aids businesses in maintaining their financial stability as well as building strong bonds and trust with the public, shareholders, and investors.

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Corporate governance is important to build the confidence of investors, the government, and the community. The company’s direction and business integrity are better understood by investors. It promotes long-term financial viability by offering opportunities and benefits, facilitates raising capital, reduces the chances of risks, corruption, and financial loss, and is revolutionary for tenacity and long-term growth. Good corporate governance can also increase share prices.

The business equation has people on both sides, like the founders, the board, the shareholders, consumers, and an impartial observer. Every member of the governance body works towards achieving a specific goal. Their goals and programmes ought to be all focused on achieving that goal. The process of governance facilitates collaboration among employees in an organisation in order to accomplish it’s objectives. This procedure is the result of an analysis of the business’s performance. To help the business reach it’s objective, procedures can be enhanced over time. Knowing how to analyse the performance, determine whether it is effective (or successful enough), and then apply the findings to the rest of the organisation is one of the most crucial aspects of corporate governance.

Transparency, responsibility, accountability, candour, and risk management are, among others, some of the basic principles of corporate governance. Managers are expected to operate with clear explanations for their decisions. This encourages a managerial style that emphasises integrity and honesty. A board of directors discussing the possible benefits and drawbacks of a decision, such as an acquisition or merger, or performing staff assessments are examples of corporate governance in action.

Importance of corporate governance

Corporate governance is essential for ensuring the effective and ethical operation of a company and protecting the interests of all stakeholders. Here are some key reasons why it matters:

  1. Accountability and transparency:
    • Corporate governance establishes clear lines of accountability and ensures that the board of directors and management are responsible for their decisions.
    • It promotes transparency by requiring regular reporting, disclosure of financial information, and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
  2. Risk management and compliance:
    • Effective corporate governance helps organisations identify, assess, and manage risks.
    • It ensures compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and ethical standards, reducing the likelihood of legal liabilities and reputational damage.
  3. Stakeholder protection:
    • Corporate governance protects the interests of various stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, creditors, customers, and the community.
    • It ensures that decisions are made in the best interests of all stakeholders, fostering trust and confidence.
  4. Long-term sustainability:
    • Strong corporate governance practices promote long-term sustainability by emphasising ethical decision-making, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility.
    • A well-governed company is more likely to adapt to changing market conditions, foster innovation, and maintain a competitive advantage.

Influence of corporate governance practices on managerial styles

Corporate governance practices significantly influence managerial styles, shaping how managers make decisions, interact with stakeholders, and lead their teams.

1. Risk-taking and decision-making

  • Strong governance: Boards with independent directors and robust oversight mechanisms encourage managers to take calculated risks and make informed decisions.
  • Weak governance: Boards dominated by insiders or lacking diversity may lead to groupthink and less risk-taking, potentially hindering innovation.

2. Stakeholder engagement

  • Transparent governance: Clear communication and engagement with stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, and customers, foster a collaborative and responsive management style.
  • Opaque governance: Lack of transparency can lead to mistrust and disengagement, making it challenging for managers to build effective relationships.

3. Ethical leadership

  • Ethical governance: Boards that emphasise ethics and integrity create an environment where managers prioritise ethical behaviour and decision-making.
  • Lax governance: Weak ethical standards at the board level can trickle down, leading to unethical managerial practices and a lack of accountability.

4. Long-term planning

  • Sustainable governance: Boards focused on long-term sustainability encourage managers to adopt strategies that consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors.
  • Short-term governance: Boards prioritising short-term gains may pressure managers to focus on immediate profits at the expense of long-term growth.

5. Performance monitoring and evaluation

  • Effective governance: Regular performance evaluations and clear expectations from the board help managers stay accountable and aligned with organisational goals.
  • Ineffective governance: Lack of effective performance monitoring can lead to complacency and a lack of motivation among managers.

6. Employee empowerment and motivation

  • Collaborative governance: Boards that involve management and employees in decision-making create a culture of empowerment and motivation, encouraging managers to delegate and involve their teams.
  • Autocratic governance: Boards with a top-down approach may result in micromanaging managers who suppress employee initiative.

7. Innovation and adaptability

  • Forward-thinking governance: Boards that encourage innovation and embrace change empower managers to be agile and adapt to evolving market conditions.
  • Resistant governance: Boards resistant to change may stifle managerial creativity and hinder the organisation’s ability to innovate.

Women on board

While proxy advisors and shareholders are important investors who can affect governance, a board of directors is equally vital to governance. Many studies have tried to find out if the inclusion of a woman director as a member of the board is linked to the board’s performance. Gender diversity is a significant component of board diversity, an issue that receives a lot of attention in today’s business world. The inclusion of female directors on corporate boards is referred to as gender diversity. Three distinct criteria for assessing the importance of women on boards were provided by Smith, Smith and Verner (2006) in support of these viewpoints. In general, female board members possess  masterful market knowledge. This knowledge has a favourable impact on the board’s decision-making process. Having women board members tends to improve a company’s success by improving the perception of the company in the community, which is the second criteria and third, the appointment of women board members inspires male board members to possess an in-depth understanding of the business environment. The career growth of junior female employees in a company can also be positively impacted by female directors.

There are companies with good corporate governance practices, while others fall short. Let’s explore a few examples:

One of the largest accounting scams in history was carried out by Houston, Texas-based Enron, an energy trading and utility firm. An energy company that began trading extensively in energy derivative markets. Executives at Enron used accounting techniques to inflate the company’s sales, temporarily elevating it to the seventh largest corporation in the United States. The business swiftly collapsed after the scam was discovered and in December 2001, it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The public is rarely aware that a corporation has sound corporate governance procedures in place. PepsiCo is a good example of a business that has a strong track record of moral corporate conduct. It is one business that appears to have continuously followed sound corporate governance principles and regularly modifies or improves them. Investor feedback was solicited by PepsiCo in six areas when it was developing it’s 2020 proxy statement:

  1. Board composition and diversity.
  2. Long-term strategy, corporate purpose, and sustainability concerns.
  3. Ethical governance practices and ethical corporate culture.
  4. Management human capital.
  5. Analysis and discussion of compensation.
  6. Engagement of shareholders and stakeholders.

The following businesses are some examples of corporate governance: Google, Walmart, and Apple Inc. Each of these businesses has a unique corporate governance structure that determines how authority is distributed throughout the organisation. There are benefits and drawbacks to each of these arrangements for businesses.

HDFC, Infosys, Mahindra, Marico, and Wipro in India are among the top scorers in the corporate governance index report. The Tata Group is among India’s best examples of excellent corporate governance. They have established themselves as a symbol of honesty with strong ethical values and an unwavering commitment to transparency, and they have become a beacon of trust and integrity. Sun Pharma has demonstrated excellent corporate governance standards by stressing the value of risk management and stakeholder engagement. The company’s board not only encourages diversity and gender representation but also comprises independent directors. Sun Pharma has given its stakeholders and investors confidence by implementing strict internal controls and compliance measures. The commitment to governance has enabled the company to navigate complex challenges and emerge as a global pharmaceutical leader, resulting in sustainable growth. As we sum up the exploration of Indian corporate governance success stories, these outstanding businesses are inspiring and work to incorporate their best practices into establishments in order to foster an environment of integrity, transparency, and trust.

Good corporate governance practices

Choosing businesses that follow sound corporate governance is something an investor does in the hopes of avoiding losses and other unfavourable outcomes like bankruptcy. To find out if a corporation is following strong corporate governance, one can do research on specific aspects of the organisation. These areas include:

  • Policies of disclosure.
  • The structure of executive compensation, including whether it is based only on performance or on additional metrics.
  • Risk management involves checks and balances in decision-making.
  • Rules and practices for resolving conflicts of interest (the manner in which the business approaches decisions that may be in opposition to its mission statement).
  • The board of directors’ members (their financial interests or competing interests).
  • Social and contractual obligations (a company’s reaction to concerns like climate change ties with suppliers).
  • Relationships with vendors.
  • Shareholder complaints and the manner in which they were addressed.
  • Audits (the frequency of internal and external audits, as well as the manner in which any concerns revealed by those audits were addressed).

Types of bad governance practices

  1. Businesses that fail to provide auditors with adequate cooperation or that fail to choose auditors with the right qualifications may release fraudulent or non-compliant financial documents.
  2. Executive compensation packages that fail to provide corporate officers with the best possible incentive.
  3. Boards with poor organisational design make it impossible for shareholders to remove incompetent board members.

It is commonly accepted that the role of leadership involves actively seeking out new projects to maintain the viability and sustainability of an organisation. Ironically, disagreement can arise among leaders, which hinders the development of the organisation. Leaders should act or carry themselves in a way that respects employees, especially when it comes to honouring their word. It was also claimed that the leader’s lack of clarity and uncertainty resulted in abandoned projects and needless extra time and expenses. A company’s collapse due to poor corporate governance frequently results in scandal and bankruptcy.


The guiding principles that a business establishes to direct all of its operations, including risk management, employee treatment, remuneration, and handling the environment, are collectively referred to as corporate governance. The foundational pillars of leadership and corporate governance are essential to the long-term viability of corporate organisations. One should not undervalue nor overstate the relationship between corporate governance and leadership styles. A masterful combination of these two characteristics can turn a small company into a market leader, but a dangerous partnership between them can lead to the untimely demise of even the largest organisations. A business organisation’s long-term and thriving prosperity is built on its strategic leadership strategy. Effective corporate governance is not only a choice but a necessity in the ever-changing Indian business scene. This is something that the corporate sector in India needs to recognise. For the benefit of these institutions’ stakeholders, a successful leadership style directs the organisational ship towards a path that preserves and prioritises excellent corporate governance practices over transient gains. This leads to unmatched prosperity. Businesses stand apart from the crowd and draw in investors who respect moral behaviour and sound judgement. Furthermore, it is a major force behind growth, jobs, and social responsibility, all of which help to shape the country’s economic landscape. An unmatched legacy is created when people fully embrace the values of good corporate governance – not only out of obligation but with zeal and under the direction of capable leadership. Consequently, stakeholders receive benefits from this legacy that lasts beyond time and permanently alters the organisation’s journey to excellence. A corporation that follows corporate governance principles that demand integrity and transparency can make moral decisions that are advantageous to all of its stakeholders, including investors.



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