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Effective Corporate Governance Reform and Organisational Pluralism: Reframing Culture, Leadership and Followership

Holloway, D.A. and van Rhyn, D. (2005) Effective Corporate Governance Reform and Organisational Pluralism: Reframing Culture, Leadership and Followership. In: Lehman, C.R., Tinker, T., Merino, B. and Neimark, M., (eds.) Corporate Governance: Does Any Size Fit? (Advances in Public Interest Accounting, Volume 11). Elsevier, Oxford, pp. 303-328.


Spectacular corporate failures including One Tel, Ansett, HIH, Enron and Worldcom and the recent fiasco with National Australia Bank are evidence of a legitimacy crisis in current corporate governance practices. This paper analyses the organisational impact of recent “best practice” guidelines and the recommendations for reform. We conclude that substantive concerns still exist and it is likely that companies will utilise a “tick the box” approach emphasising form over substance governance changes. We argue for a two-fold approach to embed effective ongoing reform. The first involves cultural change(s) at the boardroom level to develop a “real” team approach. This would embrace the use of constructive conflict in the decision-making process and also incorporate elements of trust and openness. Constructive conflict, we argue, leads to real and effective boardroom behavioural changes.

The second strand of reform proposes that such changes should be extended into the internal decision-making (enterprise governance) arena. Such a move towards organisational pluralism devolves decision-making and allows greater employee involvement in the “running” of organisations. It also entails a significant re-framing of organisational values, culture and followership. The leadership role becomes one of facilitation and support not the current dominant “command and control” mindset.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Murdoch Business School
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: Elsevier
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