What's the Business of the Board?


This year's corporate scandals are beginning to shine a brighter spotlight on boards of directors, the governing bodies of public companies. In fact, BusinessWeek's Oct. 7 Cover Story identifies some of the best and worst boards in Corporate America -- and offers guidelines for those that aspire to be top-notch.

How much do you know about the boards of the companies in which your pension money, college fund, or other assets are invested? That's the subject of this BusinessWeek Online Reader Survey, which as always isn't a scientific poll, since anyone who wishes to can participate.

Do you know who's on the board of the companies in which you or your pension or investment adviser have invested your money?

Yes

No

Not sure

Does it matter to you who's on those boards?

Yes

No

Not sure

Are you aware of the extent to which the boards of those companies influence the actions of the company's top executives?

Yes

No

Not sure

Which best describes the way you think of corporate boards?

They primarily look out for the interests of investors

They primarily look out for the interests of top management

They primarily look out for themselves

Other

Not sure

When it comes to helping ensure that a company's business strategy is successful, do you think that boards are:

Very effective

Somewhat effective

Not very effective

Ineffective

Not sure

When it comes to helping ensure that a company's top executives do a good job for an appropriate amount of compensation, do you think that boards are:

Very effective

Somewhat effective

Not very effective

Ineffective

Not sure

When a company has made bad business decisions, or when its executives have behaved unethically with respect to their official duties, do you think the board should:

Not be blamed

Share in the blame

Get most of the blame

Not sure

After the scandals of the past year, are you inclined to learn more about the boards of companies in which your money is invested?

Yes

No

Maybe

Not sure


Later, Baby
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