Corporate Board Member What Directors Think: Special Issue 2003: "
by Peter Keating
Under pressure from outsiders and from themselves, directors are struggling to redefine the delicate balance of serving society as well as the bottom line. Here's how some of them are doing it.
Enron's board members were not rubes. Robert Jaedicke, for example, who chaired the company's audit committee, is the former dean of Stanford business school. But the directors took guidance from a world that has since imploded, and their actions defined an extreme and now discredited concept of directorial duty. What will replace it is the hottest question facing boards.
Day after day, directors around the country must make difficult decisions about their companies standards and behavior, about how to handle issues of disclosure, financial management, and compensation, about how to treat workers, communities, and the environment. The answers are often anything but clear-cut, and history shows that there are ebbs and flows to how companies respond"