1? Compare and contrast the theoretical perspectives on corporate governance and discuss their impact on policy making in the UK.
2? There are claims that in difficult economic times, ethical considerations cannot have high priority in companies’ decision making. Critically discuss the view that it is easy for an organization to act ethically, even in more difficult economic times.
3? The recent increase in shareholder activism is a controversial issue. Critically discuss the view that shareholder activism does not advance and strengthen overall corporate governance in the long run but only serves the activists’ narrow short-term profit targets’. Use example where appropriate.
4? Given that company managers are given the discretion by shareholders (via board of directors) to manage a company’s affairs to the best interest of shareholders, they should also be allowed to report earnings with discretion within the confines of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in terms of ‘Earnings management’. Discuss.
I want to flag up some common issues among the weaker and failed scripts marked.
1. Not answering the question set – Students saw a key phrase such as ‘theoretical perspectives’ and so just discussed the main theories. However, the question was to relate it to policy making in the UK too. This meant that students were already ignoring half of the question and therefore half the marks. If they did refer to UK policy making it was normally a maximum of two sentences.
2. Not prepared to answer 3 questions – Each question completed carries equal marks (100 marks) however students seem to focus their revision on too few topics and so perhaps had two good responses but one poor one which pushed the average down. Some students only answered two questions which meant they had guaranteed that they had lost a third of the marks available.
3. Not knowing how to write an essay – Writing in bullet points is not an essay, nor is leaving one or two lines between each line written. You are at the Masters level and are expected to know how to write in an essay format. If you need support please go to the centre for academic writing to ensure you are comfortable writing in an essay format.
4. Lack of academic reading/trying to ‘blag’ – It was clear that a number of students ignored advice given, or were absent from a number of sessions, as they seemed to only know what was on the lecture slides and did no further reading in terms of academic literature. Additionally, students assumed that they could ‘blag’ their way through. Unfortunately, for these candidates when the work is marked we do not give additional credit when students keep making the same point repeatedly but in a slightly different way.
Please note the resit exam revision timetable below. It is important that you attend both sessions in order to improve your chances of passing the resit exam. You are required to revise the following
Lecture 2: Theoretical Aspects of Corporate Governance (both lecture and seminar)
Lecture 3: Corporate Governance Codes and Regulations (both lecture and seminar)
Lecture 4: Board structure and Functions with particular focus on non-executive directors (both lectureand seminar)
Lecture 5: Corporate Governance Systems Around the World (both lecture and seminar) and ensure that you read chapter 17 of Tricker (2015) Textbook
Lecture 8: Corporate Social Responsibility (both lecture and seminar)