London, 24 July 2017 – Conflict can be damaging, but tension is considered to play a positive role in the boardroom, a poll out today from ICSA: The Governance Institute and recruitment specialist The Core Partnership finds.
‘57% of company secretaries have had to deal with conflict and tension in the boardroom in the past year. With conflict arising from everything from strategic disputes to personality clashes, conflict is one of the thorniest problems that chairman and company secretaries have to deal with,’ says Peter Swabey, Policy and Research Director at ICSA: The Governance Institute. ‘Unconstructive disputes can have serious consequences, such as a board member stepping down or a CEO exiting the business. That said, tension can constructively challenge the board to consider the issues at hand. Diversity of opinion is something to be welcomed as it tends to facilitate better discussions, which in turn lead to better decisions.’
The findings also showed both the chairman and company secretary to play an important part in managing tension and conflict, something that is backed up by separate research that ICSA conducted recently with Professor Andrew Kakabadse of Henley Business School:
Discussion ─ often outside the boardroom ─ is highlighted as playing a major role in settling disputes.
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1 ICSA: The Governance Institute is the professional body for governance. We have members in all sectors and are required by our Royal Charter to lead ‘effective governance and efficient administration of commerce, industry and public affairs’. With over 125 years’ experience, we work with regulators and policy makers to champion high standards of governance and provide qualifications, training and guidance.
2 The Core Partnership is a niche market recruitment consultancy working with Company Secretaries and their teams to advise on and resource their specialist interim and permanent manpower needs. With relevant professional backgrounds spanning back to the 1980s, The Core Partnership has a wealth of knowledge of the development and dimensions of the role of the Company Secretary. The team provides market advice on relevant qualifications and experience, conducts salary and benchmarking exercises and works throughout the UK and overseas recruiting at all levels to this specific discipline.
3 More detail about the poll findings can be found as of 00:01 on Monday 24 July at www.icsa.org.uk/knowledge/governance-and-compliance/indepth/comment/quick-question
The Henley Business School research 'Conflict and Tension in the Boardroom' can be viewed at www.icsa.org.uk/boardroomtension