Survey Finds Technology, Strategy and Shareholder Engagement Driving Corporate Governance

Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 13:34

 

Expanding technology use, expectations to be more active in developing corporate strategy and an emphasis on shareholder engagement are driving the corporate governance agenda, according to the 2011 Board Practices Report from the Deloitte Center for Corporate Governance and the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals.

The report, based on a survey of 208 corporate secretaries, analyzes 19 board practice areas among public and non-public companies and explores topics such as governance reform and regulation, risk oversight, corporate responsibility, board meeting practices and committee structures. Additionally, with the SEC’s enhanced proxy disclosures shining a spotlight on board composition, for the first time the report includes a section on director qualifications.

The use of technology is among the emerging issues explored in the report, which shows nearly 8 in 10 (79 percent) respondents claiming their board’s use of technology is increasing. More than 4 in 10 (42 percent) companies surveyed indicate they distribute board materials through a portal, up from 15 percent in 2008. Additionally, 1 in 5 (20 percent) of boards deliver materials through a tablet application.

The study also examines the impact of social media on corporate policies and director behavior. Although 61 percent of companies surveyed have a social media policy, 57 percent say their directors do not engage in social media associated with their organizations.

“Corporate governance continues to evolve, with the leading boards and governance teams dedicated to continuous improvement,” said Kenneth Bertsch, president and chief executive officer, Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals. “This report, based on an in-depth survey of governance officers, offers readers unusual insight into how governance is changing in practice.”

For more information about the report and the Deloitte Center for Corporate Governance, visit www.corpgov.deloitte.com.