Thank goodness benchmark metrics are not as capricious as governance ratings!

Fortune, Vol. 158, July 7, 2008 at 18, cites a study that compares the reliability of corporate-governance ratings (See my post of Aug. 17, 2008: corporate governance with 18 references.). A table shows the scores four firms – Audit Integrity, Institutional Shareholder Services, GovernanceMetrics International, and The Corporate Library – issued as of 2006 for Disney, GM, and Xerox. A glance shows that the ratings were “wildly disparate marks to the same companies.).

The study, by Stanford’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance, could have included other groups, such as Proxy Governance (See my post of Oct. 1, 2006: law department compiles governance scores.) and Glass, Lewis & Co. (See my post of July 5, 2006 #2: citing Glass, Lewis.).

At least the metrics generally accumulated for law department performance have narrower ranges of variation and are better recognized than those of governance. Certainly, though, neither field has a unified theory of metrics or management.

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