The Board of Directors: Governance and Accountability Issues

Antoine REBÉRIOUX * LADYSS, Université Paris 7 Diderot. Contact :
Gwenael ROUDAUT ** École polytechnique. Contact :

This article examines the role, functioning and composition of corporate boards. It relies on the recent literature in economics, finance and management, and presents the main evolution of French corporate boards (for the SBF120 companies) over the 2007-2015 period. Board studies raise key questions regarding firm performance, governance and accountability. We highlight three main issues. The first concerns board delegation in dedicated sub-committees: while important, it has received little attention so far. The second concerns board composition. The literature has been for a long time focused on board independence; however, there is a growing interest for board diversity (as a way to improve firm performance and/or to integrate various interests in the corporate decision-making process). The third is board gender diversity, as a number of EU member states have in the 2010 decade adopted regulation (hard or soft) to increase female representation.

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