The Walker Review of corporate governance: an assessment

The Walker Review of corporate governance: an assessment
Document type
Barker, Roger
Institute of Directors
Date of publication
1 September 2009
Management & leadership: including strategy, public sector management, operations and production, Trends: economic, social and technology trends affecting business
Business and management
Material type

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An article gives the response of the Institute of Directors to the recommendations of the Walker Review on corporate governance. The Walker Review is the most significant government-sponsored review of UK corporate governance since the Higgs Report of 2003. It shares the IoD’s view that The Combined Code – rather than formal rules or legislation – remains the most viable means of promoting better overall corporate governance standards in the UK. The Review seeks to embed a “culture of challenge” into boardroom behaviour. As Sir David puts it: “If this means that boards operate in a somewhat less collegial way than in the past, that will be a small price to pay for better governance.” The recommendations made by the Review in the area of director-level training and board evaluation are somewhat lacking in boldness. Given the Review’s emphasis on the need to improve corporate governance behaviour rather than impose rules and regulations, this is disappointing. The wider applicability of the Review’s proposals on risk and remuneration need to be considered carefully. Several of the recommendations in these areas would not be relevant or desirable outside the financial sector. 

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