Symposium on corporate governance and integrated reporting in SA

Posted on August 24, 2015

The University of Pretoria’s Prof Derick de Jongh, from the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences and Director of the Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership, was part of a panel of experts at a showcase symposium at the 75th annual meeting of the Academy of Management (AOM). This event was held from 7–11 August in Vancouver, Canada.

The AOM was founded in 1936 and now has more than 19 000 members from nearly 120 nations. The Academy promotes excellence in established management disciplines and the exchange of ideas. It also provides collaborative opportunities and supports scholarly activity through their annual meeting.  Their headquarters are located in New York on the campus of Pace University.

Prof De Jongh was one of the co-organisers, along with Prof Sandra Waddock from Boston College’s Carroll School of Management, to present the showcase symposium on ‘Opening planetary governance: from corporate to national to global (Earth systems) governance’. Professors De Jongh and Waddock gave an overview of corporate governance from a global and local perspective and placed specific emphasis on planetary challenges for business, as well as on the role of integrated reporting in shaping a new business model for the future.

South African retired Judge, Prof Mervyn King (of the King Commission) was tasked to deliver the keynote at the symposium: reflecting on the emergence of integrated reporting and other governance mechanisms from his experience as Chairperson of the International Integrated Reporting Council. The panel comprised Professors Jonathan P Doh from Villanova University (USA), Christian Vögtlin from the University of Zurich (Switzerland) and Laura Albareda from the University of Deusto (Spain).

Using the definition of governance as the ways in which societies make decisions and share power, the symposium covered the opening and emerging governance structures at levels ranging from corporate to state to global or earth system governance. The panellists brought several different perspectives on governance to the discussion. Prof Christian Vögtlin discussed the potential of planetary/global governance schemes to encourage responsible innovations aimed at sustainability. Prof Doh discussed collaborative governance as an integrated model to forge strong, sustainable governance systems at multiple levels. Prof De Jongh discussed the ways in which integrated reporting and other progressive governance mechanisms are shaping South African business and leadership. Prof Albareda focussed on Earth system governance as a means of managing the global commons, global markets and sustainability.

The symposium was nominated for the Carolyn Dexter award for best symposium at the AOM. Although their symposium did not receive the first prize, receiving a nomination (one of only 20) from among the hundreds of accepted symposia at the AOM is an achievement in itself.

After the AOM, Prof De Jongh emphasised the leading role played by South Africa in corporate governance and especially in integrated reporting. The work in thought leadership done at the Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership in this regard should be highlighted. 


- Author Myan Subrayan

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