Regulation, Corporate Governance & Taxation

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Headlines tell us about failures of corporate boards, weaknesses in strategic leadership, and controversies over tax arbitrage. Within businesses and public sector organisations, however, we also see exploration of new forms of ownership and new paths of accountability, seeking to create value for owners, broader social impact and business sustainability. The BU research cluster on Regulation, Corporate Governance and Taxation brings together scholars and students from across a wide range of disciplines to conduct research into both the failings and the experimentation. We seek insights that can arise at the intersection of leadership studies, finance, accounting, business ethics, institutional analysis, law and economics to advance knowledge in the diverse field of corporate governance.

Corporate governance spans a wide range of issues in business and management, drawing upon disciplines ranging from law and accountancy, economics and finance, to strategic management, leadership and ethics. This research cluster brings their efforts together to build new projects and develop new scholars seeking to explore questions confronting businesses, their investors and the boards of other types of organisations, too.

Our research examines boards of directors and their relationships with investors, as well as regulators, gatekeepers and watchdogs with whom they interact. A sub-group of the cluster specialises in taxation and tax policy. The cluster has a strong  interest in building on the body of scholarship and the efforts of their scholars to research new questions. We want to build new research capabilities, too, by welcoming new scholars to the field. Cluster members are generally open to consider applications from candidates for doctoral and other research degrees.

Corporate Governance: Principles and Issues, Sage Publications

Corporate Governance: Principles and Issues, Sage Publications


  • Letza, S. (2017). Corporate governance and the African business context: the case of Nigeria. Economics & Business Review, 3[17](1), 184-204
  • Spiers, L. (2017). Corporate governance, risk and crises in small companies: shedding light from inside the boardroom black box. Economics & Business Review, 3[17](1), 112-126.
  • Nordberg, D. (2017). Board ethos and institutional work: developing a corporate governance identity through developing the UK code. Economics & Business Review, 3[17](1), 73-96.
  • Concannon, M. & Nordberg, D. (2017). Boards strategizing in liminal spaces: Process and practice, formal and informal. European Management Journal.
  • McNulty, T. & Nordberg. D. (2016). Ownership, Activism and Engagement: Institutional Investors as Active Owners. Corporate Governance: An International Review.
  • Nordberg, D. (2014). Viewpoint – Governing the governance of the governors: Motivating accountability at the top of public organizations. Evidence-based HRM: a Global Forum for Empirical Scholarship, 2(1), 114-119.
  • Professor Stephen Letza’s 2004 article in Corporate Governance: An International Review was heralded in 2013 as one of the 10 most cited articles in the journal’s 20 years of publication
  •  Donald Nordberg’s book, Corporate Governance: Principles and Issues, was published in 2011 by Sage Publications.


The University of Oxford’s Law Department invited Donald Nordberg to contribute to its widely read Oxford Business Law Blog, summarising his working paper called Cadbury and a road not taken, a look back at the development of the UK Corporate Governance Code. The blogpost also looks forward to the “fundamental review” of the code planned by the Financial Reporting Council in the autumn of 2017.

Rebecca Booth and Donald Nordberg have collaborated on a pair of conference papers concerning board evaluation theory and practice. The empirical study of directors’ experience of the practice will be presented to the International Corporate Governance Society in Rome in early September 2017. A review paper that builds a framework for practice will be presented the following week to the British Academy of Management conference at the University of Warwick. Booth, a financial services practitioner focused on boards, earned an MSc in Corporate Governance with Distinction from BU. Nordberg is associate professor.

Marg Concannon, who earned an MSc in Corporate Governance with Distinction at BU, and Associate Professor Donald Nordberg have collaborated on a paper examining how boards of directors work on strategy in the increasingly regulated environment after the financial crisis. Using theories of liminality developed in anthropology and reinterpreted in organisation studies, it identifies practices of strategising that seek to reassert creativity when regulation places emphasis on compliance. The paper was published in European Management Journal in 2017.

Professor Steve Letza has edited a special issue of Economics and Business Review providing practical and theoretical developments in corporate governance.

The corporate governance track at the British Academy of Management conference in 2017 was organised by Donald Nordberg, associate professor at BU, and Jia Liu, reader in finance at the University of Salford.

Tahani Mohamed took her PhD research on the link between tax discipline, corporate governance, and firm performance to December 2016 and March 2017 events of British Accounting and Finance Association.

“Trump, Foucault and Pre-Modern Governance”: That is the theme of a reflection on a post-modern interpretation of history, statecraft and corporate governance by Donald Nordberg, associate professor, and available from Social Sciences Research Network. It compares Trump’s first days in the White House with the French philosopher’s reading Machiavelli’s Prince and movement away from the divine right of kings to the development of Moderism and the Enlightenment in the 18th Century. It’s an extended version of his blog-post on A companion essay at SSRN, “First and second drafts of history,” considers the relationship between journalism, social science research, and historiography in the age of Twitter and endless, unthinking communicative action. The twinned essay now appear in Geopolitics, History, and International Relations

The Lord Mayor of London visited Bournemouth University to promote the South Coast Financial Centre of Excellence and Bournemouth University as a source of knowledge transfer and education for employers in the sector.

Professor Stella Fearnley, in a letter to the Financial Times  on 24 February 2015, took aim at the chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board, Hans Hoogervorst, for his “dismissive riposte” to claims that accounting standards contributed to the financial crisis. The letter, written with Tony Hines from Portsmouth University, also decried his claim that prudence should support neutrality, not replace it.

Alan Kirkpatrick and Dragana Radicic won Fusion funding for a study of the impact of tax avoidance on company value.


  • Dr Donald Nordberg Cluster leader & Associate Professor of Strategy and Corporate Governance (Research: Strategic leadership and board dynamics; institutional theory)
  • Dr Phyllis Alexander Principal Academic in Accounting (Research: Taxation and tax policy)
  • Dr Sukanya Ayatakshi Senior Lecturer in Strategy (Research: Entrepreneurship & finance)
  • Professor Stella Fearnley Professor of Accounting (Research: Accounting adequacy)
  • Professor Jens Hölscher Head of Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics (Research: Institutional economics)
  • Paul Anthony Jones Lecturer in Human Resources and Organisational Behaviour (Research: Social responsibility and governance)
  • Dr Alan Kirkpatrick, Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Taxation (Research: Tax, boards and governance)
  • Professor Stephen Letza Professor of Accounting (Research: Tax, regulation and accountability)
  • Dr Suranjita Mukherjee Senior Lecturer in Accounting (Research: Finance & family firms)

PhD students

  • Leslie Spiers, Governance and resilience in SMEs
  • Bchr Alatassi, Corporate governance for Islamic financial institutions
  • Tahani Mohamed, Tax discipline and its relationship with corporate governance
  • Man The Nguyen, Ownership structures and corporate governance in Vietnamese firms

Latest news from Regulation, Corporate Governance & Taxation:

  • Austerity, regulation and crisis in history

      On 10 April BU’s Business School research seminar took a “whirlwind” sweep through the history and financial and economic crises, courtesy of Dr Suzanne Konzelmann, reader in management at Birkbeck,... »

  • Collaborative Governance and Economic Development

    On March 14, the Business School is hosting a talk by Jacob Salter on “Collaborative Governance and Economic Development: Policy and Practice for the Localist Era”, 10:00-12:00 at the Executive... »

  • Leadership and governance at House of Commons

    Donald Nordberg, Associate Professor in the Business School, has completed a two-year programme of leadership development for senior staff of the House of Commons, and selected House of Lords staff.... »

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