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: 2021/2

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 module then focuses on a critical discussion of the corporate form and corporate accountability.


The module aims to expose 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, re muneration, codes, communication with stakeholders, boards and senior management arrangements, culture, financialization, 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 a reas.

  • 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:

  • Conceptual basis including a discussion of artificial personhood, limited liability, perpetual life, separation of ownership and control, transferability of ownership and beneficial ownership

  • Theoretical approaches

  • Disclosure

  • Transparency

  • The Board

  • Incentives and remuneration

  • The market for corporate control

  • Regulation 

  • Corporate governance failures

  • Financialization

  • Ethics and accountability

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



Global context:

This 20-credit module is intended to prepare students for careers in management, finance and law and in public services or statutory bodies. It is also valuable to those students preparing for roles in risk management, internal and external audit, and compliance

This module is an important optional module for students pursuing the MSc CMRC. It is also open to students across the ICMA Centre, Henley Business School and the Law School (subject to programme-level availability).

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:      
    Wider reading (independent) 36
    Wider reading (directed) 54
    Essay preparation 55
    Reflection 29
Total hours by term 0 200 0
Total hours for module 200

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) to be submitted in the fortnight before the start of exams at the end of the academic year.


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:

Re-submission of assignment


Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books: £50 2) Specialist equipment or materials: 3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: 4) Printing and binding: £10 5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: 6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 8 April 2021


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