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Where Was the Board?


Where was the board? This is the cry that emerges each time a company disastrously collapses or becomes enmeshed in a scandal. The board of directors are, in principle, the guardians of the company, the people who ensure it is well-managed, financially secure and operates in the best interests of its shareholders and other stakeholders. Yet when companies come crashing to the ground, it emerges that the board has failed in its fiduciary duty to the organization to ensure it is managed responsibly and sustainably, and to all stakeholders including shareholders to ensure their interests are not harmed. This chapter argues why board failure should be getting greater attention than it has—including that it has been with us for 300 years, across the world, and that the causes of these failures are both predictable and preventable if all concerned paid greater attention to board and organizational culture.


  • Culture
  • Corporate disaster
  • Board failure
  • Business scandals
  • Board governance
  • Non-executive directors

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Fig. 1.1


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Correspondence to Gerry Brown .

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Brown, G., Peterson, R.S. (2022). Where Was the Board?. In: Disaster in the Boardroom. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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