28/12/2016

Board culture and effectiveness

BY Eleanor Leach

In corporate reporting circles, ‘corporate culture’ has risen to the top of league table of issues to address in the annual report. It is not a new issue nor is its importance a new phenomenon. Almost a century ago, the Hawthorne Studies highlighted the link between culture and performance.

In most organisations the culture is palpable – very quickly one gets the sense of ‘what it’s like to work around here’. Whilst culture is immediately recognisable it is socially constructed and a matter of individual experience which is perhaps why it has taken so long for it to be seen as being relevant to investors.

Being transparent and open about what’s happening in a business is a good litmus test of a healthy culture and effective governance. Like families, no one is going to declare theirs is dysfunctional and the same holds for corporations – few are brave enough to be honest about what may not be working well. That said there is no ideal culture – the best culture is the one that supports the long-term success of the company.

Culture is a very broad topic and not one we could adequately deal with in a single paper. Accordingly, this white paper focuses on how companies should consider and discuss culture in the annual report. We raise more questions than answers as our intention is to provoke discussion and experimentation and not offer ready-made solutions.

To talk to us more about communicating your corporate culture, please contact our Business Development Manager, Mitchell Kirkham-Cooper mitchell@gather.london

Board culture and effectiveness


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