Archive for the ‘Corporate Governance’ Category

Save the Date! Berkshire Beyond Buffett. The Enduring Values of Values. Mon Dec 8th 5:45pm

Join us for a Rock Center for Corporate Governance panel:

5:45 – 6pm  Reception
6- 7:15pm Panel Discussion
Room 290, Stanford Law School
Crown Quadrangle

Berkshire Hathaway is one of the most highly regarded corporations in the world. Much of its success comes from Warren Buffett and the distinctive culture he has developed. What does this company look like from the inside? How does the company’s distinctive culture allow it to thrive? What will happen to the company when Buffett is no longer around?

SpeakersLawrence Cunningham, author of Berkshire Beyond Buffett and Professor of Law at George Washington University; Susan L. Decker, Director, Berkshire Hathaway Corporation, Costco Wholesale Corporation, and Intel Corporation; Brad Kinstler, President & CEO of See’s Candies and a longtime Berkshire Hathaway team member; and famed investor Tom Russo, partner at Gardner Russo & Gardner.

Brian Tayan will be moderating the panel. Tanyan is a Researcher at the Corporate Governance Research Initiative, Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University

REGISTER HERE. This event is open to the public.

New Larcker-Tayan book at Amazon

A Real Look at Real World Corporate Governance by Prof David Larcker and Brian Tayan is now available in paperback on Amazon. The book takes a practical look at corporate boards, CEO succession planning, executive compensation and other issues. A must read for directors, executives, shareholders and anyone else interested in how companies are run — and should be run.

A Real Look

Corporate governance is always relevant, given human nature, but few have written on it with such authority in recent years as David Larcker, the James Irvin Miller Professor of Accounting at Stanford, and co-author (and GSB alum) Brian Tayan. Now their latest contribution, A Real Look at Real World Corporate Governance, which seeks to bypass the platitudes and conventional answers that clutter so much discussion of the topic today. This book takes an unflinching look at the issues and decisions that really matter for corporate success, but in a way so as to allow readers to reach their own conclusions. Written in a clear and accessible style, this book is required reading for executives, directors, shareholders and anyone who wants to make companies run better. The problems are perennial, of course; as the book’s introduction points out — after scandals there is always a plea to do something to correct corporate misguidance or malfeasance, whether with Enron in 2001, Penn Central in 1970, or the Knickerbocker Bank in 1907. This book is dedicated to testing governance practices empirically to learn which are effective, along the way dispensing with guesswork and irrelevant ideological arguments.

Battle of Wits

Apple notoriously ran afoul of public monitors of labor conditions in China. Other firms have also been called on the carpet of international opinion over the years for debatable working conditions in suppliers’ factories, including Disney and Samsung. One group with claims to ferreting out such dubious corporate behavior, for example, is China Labor Watch. All this is illustrative of the fact that a worldwide social consciousness in business is gradually emerging. But will it be able to keep pace with the ingenuity and cleverness of those trying to conceal unwholesome factory practices?

Stay current

Feel the need to ramp up fast on cleantech or the housing crisis?  Check out the Library’s Hot Topics  page (it’s under Resources on our home page.)  There you will find an instant assortment of articles, books and great websites in areas like healthcare, cleantech, corporate social responsibility (CSR), women executives, and the financial crisis.  On the CSR page,  for example, notice our list of 22 websites that can boost your learning curve on the topic. Or review a quick list of books about women in the boardroom on the Women Executives and Career Tracks page. We can give you everything you need to be conversant at the next cocktail party  —  except the martini.


Corporate social responsibility is a subject of great interest these days, what with the bad news in the business world and Wall Street the last few years, and new contributions continue to be made in the field almost daily.  A recent entry is this reflection on a 2010 survey, which found at the time that only 65% of corporate boards had yet created board committees with some oversight in this area. Let’s trust that number has grown. For more articles in this area, check our frequently visited hot topic page.

We Are Not Worthy!

A refreshing twist on marketing oneself   —  Prof Bob Sutton describes a comment from Groupon’s CEO Andrew Mason in which Mason describes how he bucked the trend by making self-deprecating remarks about himself to avoid high expectations: ” I decided to set the bar very low and make up lies about myself that make me sound lame.”  There is an old religious tradition of humility, contrived or real, e.g. taking the lowest seat at the banquet, etc. but whether this can work in the tough corporate world  is another matter  —   as one of Sutton’s commenters notes.  Still, it is intriguing.  And amusing.


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