An investigation into whether the current roles & characteristics of non executive directors of private Irish companies meet with the recent recommendations on corporate governance & board independence

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Doyle, John P.
Issue Date
MA of Business Studies
Dublin Business School
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This paper investigates the roles, responsibilities and characteristics of boards of directors, in particular non-executive directors, in private Irish owned companies. It is also concerned with how these characteristics compare to the many recommendations made, particularly over the past ten years, on boards of directors, non-executive directors and corporate governance in Ireland and abroad. During the course of the research for this study the current recommendations concerning nonexecutives and boards of directors were examined in detail. These recommendations are from some of the principal powers in today's business environment - the United States, France and in particular the United Kingdom as this appears to be where the vast majority of the Irish guidelines and recommendations have their origins. The research methodology used during this study was the deductive approach from the positivism philosophy. Initial data sources were semi-structured interviews with a number of senior professionals in private Irish businesses, both non-executives and full time executives. These interviews helped gain an invaluable insight into the research area and as such laid the foundation for the set up and structure of the self administered questionnaire which was completed by a sample of private Irish companies. The study then goes on to analyse the data gained from the questionnaire and conclude that private Irish companies, are in fact, embracing and advocating the use of non-executive directors, principally to safeguard shareholders interests and for objective opinions however many companies are not sticking to the recommendations set out when it comes to the recruitment of non-executives and the independence of boards of directors.