Social Media & Corporate Governance

Santiago Chaher & award winning Stephen Davis

At the ICGN Annual Conference 2011 (#ICGN11) in Paris Santiago Chaher from @CorpGovLeaders and Eric Jackson encouraged the audience to discuss the growing influence of Social Media in governance practices and shareholder activism. The following questions were then asked to the audience:

(1) How are social media changing the behavior of institutional investors–both in respect of value creation and in relationships with beneficiaries?

(2) How can corporate boards adapt to risks and opportunities posed by social media?

(3) How are social media affecting the behavior and influence of stakeholders in relation to companies and investors?

The session was live tweeted and you can see the story line here or just look for the hashtag #SMCG.

What are your thoughts? We would like to continue the conversation! Thanks


5 Responses to “Social Media & Corporate Governance”

  1. 1 finchesblog September 16, 2011 at 9:58 am

    The most interesting aspect of the tweeting of the ICGN session is that it spotlights the limitations of this form of social media. It is very hard to comment profoundly on complex issues in 140 characters so the tweets showcased much froth but little substance. The conclusion must be that while social media are valuable and important they are not appropriate in every situation and much of the interchange on them is a complete waste of time.

    • 2 santiagochaher September 16, 2011 at 1:29 pm

      I agree on the limitations but I disagree that it is a complete waste of time. Tweeting allowed just to guide people who were not at the conference on the issues being discussed and in some cases, they were able to share relevant information, their opinion or comments that would not be suitable (because of depth and/or length) for a question to speakers. In this case, it is a real-time informative tool. Of course, when talking about boards, the case is different. My question would be: how do you see the generation who has grown with Social Media integrating it to their function in the board?

  2. 3 finchesblog September 16, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Each generation imagines it is different and more advanced. So we imagine the onset of the internet age has changed everything. Yet economists have struggled to prove any significant impact of the internet on business efficiency; and the social impact of the industrial revolution, linking communities with railways and telegraph and turning agrarian societies into urban societies was much more profound. In our delusion we boast of revolution in the Middle East created and spread by social media but revolution spread even faster around Europe in 1848 – powered by letters rather than the telegraph. I suspect we will find that human values and behaviours will not be shifted so radically by the internet and boardroom dynamics will really not be changed by Twitter or Facebook. The tweets of the conference illustrate this: I am sure the conference itself was really stimulating but the tweets convey only the trivial. This is because if one person can express a really interesting idea in 140 characters they still don’t have space to set context, amplify and explain; and they are followed by a dozen people jumping in and drowning them in banal trivia.

  3. 4 James McRitchie (@corpgovnet) September 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Shareowners will soon be holding virtual deliberative meetings in advance of annual meetings in order to strategize, including what proposals to submit and eventually, which candidates to nominate.

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