Format: Written report of 2000 words (tolerance of +10%)
A current debate in practice and academia is board diversity (Tricker 2019). Diversity in the context of corporate governance can have various meanings. Diversity in the boardroom among directors could be, in some circumstances, attributable to organisation type, for example, certain not-for-profit and charities, private, public or listed organisations, and which sector or industry an organisation is in (Ellingrud 2020). The characteristics or traits of diversity could, for example, include age, ethnicity, gender, race, religiosity, skills, among others (e.g. see AICD 2020; Culbert& Grewal 2020; Ellingrud 2020; Loop & Bromilow 2018). A related literature investigates overlapping directors, busy and interlocked boards (Srinivasan et al. 2018).
Conduct a review of board diversity, at an organisation you select, as a corporate governance issue and write a critical and in-depth report about your findings. Use the concepts, tools and techniques learned in this subject to review board diversity issues in your selected organisation at the individual director, committee and board levels.
Your assessment submission must include the following:
- Define and briefly describe board diversity as a corporate governance issue.
- Provide a brief description of board diversity at your selected organisation (current situation and recent past changes, etc.).
- Provide an outline of the laws, rules, corporate governance theories or philosophies, standards, guides, principles or risks learnt in this subject relevant to board diversity in the location of your organisation.
- Critically analyse and evaluate for your selected organisation, their board diversity applying the relevant laws, rules, corporate governance theories or philosophies, standards, guides, principles or other tools and techniques learnt during this subject.
- Reason where your organisation is positioned in a wider classification (for example, industry, sector, country level) of board diversity and why it is a leader or laggard.
- Provide explicit recommendations for suggested improvement based on your review.
- Write a summary of the main findings in your conclusions section.
It is important to demonstrate your knowledge of the corporate governance issue and clearly reference your sources. Read about your issue in journal articles (i.e. using the AIB Online Library search facility GoogleScholar to access databases such as EBSCOHost, ABI/Inform, ScienceDirect and JSTOR), books (including the textbook), industry reports, entity reports, business literature, etc. Remember to note down your sources while researching and reference them correctly in the report.
To do well in this assessment, you need to:
- structure your discussion appropriately
- use paragraphs of 3–8 sentences
- not write in the first person or too descriptively
- write critically and in-depth and include citations where appropriate (i.e. Author-Date, page number(s))
- use double quote marks for direct quotations of 30 words or less and indent quotations over 30 words with no quote marks
- use appropriate in-text citations (i.e. Author-Date)
- use appropriate in-text citations when paraphrasing/summarising other authors’ works and especially entity facts
- source tables/figures (even in appendices) appropriately
- use and reference credible sources
- clearly link recommendations to the description and analysis presented earlier in the report.
When in doubt, please see the AIB Style Guide, ask questions in the webinars and use the class forums, etc.
Example heading structure
Executive Summary (i.e. 250 words or less)
Table of Contents
- Legislation and board diversity
- Theory and board diversity
- Organisation benchmarked with corporate governance principles or guidelines
- Committees and board diversity
- Board diversity impact on conformance and performance
- Board risks of little or no diversity
References (i.e. with at least five credible source references; closer to 10 would be better)
Appendices (please use them sparingly if you must).
Appendix A (i.e. and you must refer to these as Appendix A or B, etc. in the main body of your report).
AICD 2020, ‘2020 Gender diversity progress report’, Australian Institute of Company Directors, May to July, pp. 1–16, viewed on 14 September 2020, https://aicd.companydirectors.com.au/advocacy/board-diversity.
Culbert, L & Grewal, R 2020, ‘How board diversity is shifting in Canada’, Corporate Secretary, 23 March, pp. 1–5, viewed on 14 September 2020, https://www.corporatesecretary.com/articles/boardroom/32016/how-board-diversity-shifting-canada.
Ellingrud, K 2020, ‘Accelerating board diversity’, Forbes, 26 June, pp. 1–5, viewed on 14 September 2020, https://www.forbes.com/sites/kweilinellingrud/2020/06/26/accelerating-board-diversity/#155a61c85106.
Loop, P & Bromilow, C 2018, ‘Is “age diversity” the next boardroom concern?’, The Corporate Board, vol. 39, no. 231, pp. 10–14.
Srinivasan, R, Wuyts, S &Mallapragada, G 2018, ‘Corporate board interlocks and new product introductions’, Journal of Marketing, vol. 82, no. 1, pp. 132–148.
Tricker, B 2019, Corporate governance: principles, policies, and practices, 4th edition, Oxford University Press.
Grading criteria and feedback
Your assessment will be marked according to the following grading criteria:
- Advanced corporate governance theoretical and technical knowledge, and understanding in one or more areas of practice – 30%.
- Analyse critically, evaluate and transform corporate governance information to complete a range of activities – 30%.
- Corporate governance literacy and reasoning, and ability to generate and transmit solutions to complex problems – 30%.
- Use of AIB academic conventions and corporate governance terminology for communication, presentation, citation and referencing skills – 10%.