I am pleased to introduce you to our institute and the unique mission we bring to the study of corporate governance. Allow me to tell you about how we created the institute.
The Harold S. Geneen Institute was established in 2008 through the generosity of the Harold S. Geneen Charitable Trust. Mr. Geneen was the former chairman of ITT from 1959 to 1977. When he stepped down as chief executive at the end of 1977, ITT was the 11th-largest industrial company in the U.S. with more than 375,000 employees and $16.7 billion in revenue. According to the New York Times, Geneen's management style and practices were widely imitated.
He envisioned that his endowment would help create a community of scholars and practitioners who would pursue leading-edge research on corporate governance and complement Bentley’s preeminent educational programs in the business and accountancy fields.
With this generous assistance, we sought to build on Bentley’s foundation by creating the Harold S. Geneen Doctoral Fellowship program. Geneen Fellows pursue directed, leading-edge research on important corporate governance issues through the Institute.
The overwhelming emphasis in governance research has been on ensuring that effective organizational mechanisms are in place in order to protect shareholders from the possibility of self-interested actions on the part of managers. While the bulk of this research has brought to light some valuable insights into the manager-shareholder relationship, we seek to broaden the analysis of governance and, therefore, place the Harold S. Geneen Institute at the forefront of contemporary governance issues.
We define corporate governance according to a more broadly accepted definition embracing the rights and responsibilities among various parties who have a stake in the firm. That is not to say we overlook fundamental questions of coordination and control, alignment or misalignment. In doing so, our faculty and doctoral research students will focus on the ways in which policies, processes and people are used to fulfill these rights and responsibilities.
At Bentley, we believe that the center of corporate governance should focus on promoting integrity within and across organizations from a financial, environmental and social vantage point. As a result, the inter-relationships between for-profit, not-for-profit and government agencies in promoting integrity in a global setting will also play a role in the research undertaken by the Geneen Fellows.
Cynthia Clark, PhD
Director, Harold S. Geneen Institute