Volume 25, 2014
Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth Annual Meeting
John Holcomb, Stephen Schlieman
Corporate Governance: The Roles and Importance of Board Committees on Legal Compliance and Ethics
This paper examines the extent and formation of legal compliance and ethics committees on the corporate boards of the top 200 companies within the Fortune 500. It first suggests possible reasons for the formation of such committees, including heightened legal exposure, overburdened audit committees, and legal incentives that reward companies for effective efforts to establish and monitor internal controls. The paper secondly examines the more prevalent existence of public responsibility committees of corporate boards and explains their jurisdiction and responsibilities. Thirdly, the paper examines the presence of women on audit committees, versus less powerful committees, in order to ascertain their real power in corporate governance.