Corporate governance has succeeded in attracting a good deal of public interest because of its apparent importance for the economic health of corporations and society in general. However, the concept of corporate governance is poorly defined because it potentially covers a large number of distinct economic phenomenon. As a result different people have come up with different definitions that basically reflect their special interest in the field. (1) Corporate governance deals with the ways in which suppliers of finance to corporations assure themselves of getting a return on their investment. (2) Corporate governance is the system by which business corporations are directed and controlled. The corporate governance structure specifies the distribution of rights and responsibilities among different participants in the corporation, such as, the board, managers, shareholders and other stakeholders, and spells out the rules and procedures for making decisions on corporate affairs. By doing this, it also provides the structure through which the company objectives are set, and the means of attaining those objectives and monitoring performance. (3) Corporate governance - which can be defined narrowly as the relationship of a company to its shareholders or, more broadly, as its relationship to society. (4) Corporate governance is about promoting corporate fairness, transparency and accountability. (5) Some commentators take too narrow a view, and say it (corporate governance) is the fancy term for the way in which directors and auditors handle their responsibilities towards shareholders. Others use the expression as if it were synonymous with shareholder democracy. Corporate governance is a topic recently conceived, as yet ill-defined, and consequently blurred at the edges_corporate governance as a subject, as an objective, or as a regime to be followed for the good of shareholders, employees, customers, bankers and indeed for the reputation and standing of our nation and its economy. (6) Corporate governance is a field in economics that investigates how corporations can be made more efficient by the use of institutional structures such as contracts, organizational designs and legislation. This is often limited to the question of shareholder value i.e. how the corporate owners can motivate and/or secure that the corporate managers will deliver a competitive rate of return.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.