ICM270-Corporate Governance and Accountability

Module Provider: ICMA Centre
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Ms Deepa Govindarajan Driver

Email: d.govindarajan@icmacentre.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module introduces students to the theory and practice of corporate governance. 


The objective of the module is to introduce students to the key concepts in the theory corporate governance, to explore how corporate governance varies around the world and to explore the potential and actual relationships between corporate governance mechanisms and accountability to a range of stakeholders.

Assessable learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the conceptual basis and the theoretical approaches to corporate governance – in particular the shareholder-oriented and stakeholder-oriented approaches.

  • Evaluate different corporate governance tools and mechanisms, and recognise their strengths and weaknesses, as well as appreciating contextual nuances in different jurisdictions. Key topics include disclosure, transparency, the market for corporate control, incentives, remuneration, codes of conduct, communication with stakeholders, boards and senior management arrangements, culture,  third parties and advisors

  • Compare governance regimes around the world

  • Evaluate the implications of corporate governance failures on a range of stakeholders

  • Critically reflect on their learning and its relation to the real world around them. In particular, students should be able to engage with real world examples in the above areas.

  • Communicate their understanding of the above topics in writing and verbally in a knowledgeable, precise and effective manner

Additional outcomes:

  • Review academic materials and discuss a range of concepts related to the underlying subject matter verbally and in writing, both individually or as part of a group so as to develop and demonstrate understanding of the subject area

Outline content:


  • Key concepts such as artificial personhood, limited liability, perpetual life, separation of ownership and control, transferability of ownership and beneficial ownership

  • Theoretical approaches : shareholder-oriented, stakeholder-oriented approaches, stewardship, managerial and other approaches

  • Disclosure

  • Transparency

  • The board of directors

  • Incentives and remuneration

  • The market for corporate control

  • Regulation 

  • Communication with stakeholders

  • Corporate governance failures

  • Ethics and accountability

  • Corporate governance across the globe and the global context for local changes

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Full Time: The core theory and concepts will be presented during classroom lectures. Relevant allied theoretical and practical issues will be discussed in seminars.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18
Seminars 8
Guided independent study 174
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:
Not applicable

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

The written assignment is an essay of approximately 3500 words (excluding references, footnotes and appendices).

In addition, subject to year on year changes, the essay may be required to be submitted along with an annotated reference list and a short accompanying reflective rationale of circa 750 words. The annotated reference list and the reflective rationale are additional supporting documents and do not contribute to the final module mark. They are assessed on a pass/fail basis and where so notified, must be completed in order to pass the module.


Formative assessment methods:

Weekly written and verbal contributions to lectures and seminars as applicable. Reflective contributions based on homework or self study


Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:
50% weighted average mark

Reassessment arrangements:

By resubmission of the essay and any accompanying documents (as applicable) as detailed above, as part of the overall reassessment arrangements for the MSc programme.


Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) International Corporate Governance:A Comparative Approach ISBN 978-0-415-32310-9 £33.29

2) Specialist equipment or materials: 3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: 4) Printing and binding: 5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: 6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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