Cet article scientifique, publié dans Social Science Research Network, pose une question cruciale sur les fondements de la gouvernance. On explique pourquoi les Boards n’ont pas « l’autorité » requise pour exercer une influence significative sur les orientations stratégiques des organisations. L’article expose aussi les processus dont les Boards doivent se doter afin de mieux jouer leur rôle de supervision et de contrôle de la direction.
Les auteurs n’y vont pas « avec le dos de la cuillère », comme vous le constaterez. Je vous réfère au groupe de discussion LinkedIn – Boards & Advisors pour analyser la teneur des contributions des membres sur ce sujet ! Vous trouverez, ci-dessous, un « abstract » de l’article.
Fewer than half of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) believe their boards of directors understand the strategic factors that determine their corporation’s success; in fact, some long term directors “confess that they don’t really understand how their companies make money.” Yet corporate law expects that boards of directors will stop managers from behaving badly. It assumes that the ultimate governing authority within corporations rests with their boards, and not with the managers who run them. Broadly accepted theories of corporate governance are based on the faulty assumption that boards have actual authority over managers. This Article directly challenges that assumption and argues that managers, not boards, control corporate decision-making processes. The problem is that scholars and policymakers have ignored the connection between decision-making processes and authority. This Article is the first to examine this largely unexplored relationship, which is essential to helping boards live up to their normative mandates.
Without an effective decision-making process, regulators will continue to expect boards to perform tasks that exceed their capabilities. Even more concerning, conventional structural reforms, such as increased director independence, actually have dangerous consequences. These reforms lessen boards’ actual authority by reducing their ability to utilize effective decision-making processes. Boards must take active steps to improve the quality of their decision making. Unless they do so, they will continue to fail because they lack to the power to perform as law and theory expect. This Article argues that effective decision-making processes, which can be found in organizational behavior theory, are the key means by which the board can exercise actual authority. Analyzing the components of such a process, and identifying which components are truly controlled by boards as opposed to managers, provides a roadmap for what boards need in order to have both de facto and de jure authority in their corporations. This Article provides that original analysis and applies insights into group decision making from organizational behavior theory to identify the attributes of an effective decision-making process that are essential to securing a board’s de facto authority.