Corporate Goverance

Essay by keymonkUniversity, Master'sB, January 2004

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There was an understandable concern about the quality of corporate governance in the U.K after the Maxwell scandal in 1991. A report (Orr, 1992) suggested, "Britain's auditors and corporate chiefs faced a collapse of Enronian proportions" a similar argument was made by Peter Waterhouse Coopers (1999, p.32001) claims, "Business failures heightened concerns about effective governance". Following this came the "worlds most coherent systems of corporate governance" (Orr, 1992) the Cadbury Report.

The Financial Reporting Council, the London Stock Exchange and the accountancy profession, set up the committee of the report in May 1991. The Cadbury Report was published on 1st December 1992. The Cadbury Code was then to become the world leader on corporate governance issues. It set a "common code for the conduct of board members and auditors" (Orr, 1992). There is a general support and compliance with the core recommendations of the report, despite this several committees and reports have commented on the quality of corporate governance in the U.K.

For example, Greenbury Report 1995, Hampel Committee 1998 and the Turnbull Report 1999.

This report concentrates on reviewing the main recommendations and changes made by the series of committees and reports in the U.K since the early 1990's.


Corporate Governance covers a very wide range of issues and disciplines so a good place to start is the Cadbury Report. The main recommendation of the Cadbury Report was that "the boards of all listed companies registered in the U.K should comply with a code of practise and state in their final accounts whether or not they have complied with it, identifying any areas of non-compliance" (Dictionary of Accounting, 1999). Compliance with the code helps a company's accountability in the public and "will enable shareholders to know where the companies in which they have invested stand...