Directors’ decisions explored in new book by University academic

The challenges and responsibilities that UK company directors face at a time of an evolving corporate culture and regulatory framework have been outlined in a new book by a University of Dundee researcher.

Professor Alice Belcher is an expert in company law, corporate governance and insolvency law among other topics. Her latest book, ‘Directors’ Decisions and the Law’, examines the difficulties of implementing corporate governance and legal requirements in a practical way that aids rather than impairs the success of an organisation.

Professor Belcher addresses key tensions involved in the duties of the director, including corporate culture and credibility, trust, risk and uncertainty, and the collective responsibility of the board. She considers decision-making in both private and public sector organisations and explicitly examines this during periods of financial distress.

The book is the result of 10 years of research and is aimed at the legal, business and academic sectors as well as anyone seeking to understand the role of directors within an organisation. It takes an interdisciplinary approach in its combination of law, management theory, economic theory and behavioural studies and compares the legal contexts of director’s decisions in the UK to those of the USA, Germany and Australia

“Directors are key decision-makers in any organisation, whether it is in the public sector, a family business or a transnational company,” explained Professor Belcher. “The director is described as the ‘most likely to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole’ in the UK Companies Act 2006 but what does this mean in practical terms?

“In the book I have addressed issues key to the understanding of corporate governance in light of recent financial crises, and by looking at the issue in a multidisciplinary way I have been able to bring several perspectives to the context of decision-making by directors.”

In addition to being Professor of Law at the University and a chartered accountant, Professor Belcher is currently a non- executive director of several organisations, including Cairn Housing Association, and Enterprising Futures, the social enterprise arm of the Aspire Group.

‘Directors’ Decisions and the Law’ is published by Routeledge and will be released as an eBook in the near future.

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