Digitalization impacts on corporate governance

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Hugh Grove, Mac Clouse, Laura Georg Schaffner


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For improved corporate governance in this age of digitalization, the Board of Directors could investigate key operating performance indicators or KPIs for competitive advantages with Digitalization Dashboards. There are over 30 such digital metrics in the Digitalization Dashboard example in this paper. A starting point for developing such key metrics could be the digital values indicated by the “efficient stock market” with the market to book ratio calculation. The ten “new economy” companies had an average market to book ratio of 10.85 while the ten “old economy” companies had an average market to book ratio of 2.64. Why are sophisticated investors indicating that the equity market value or market capitalization of “new economy” companies is almost eleven times larger on average than their equity book value? Why is the average market to book ratio of “new economy” companies over four times larger than for “old economy” companies? What key digitalization metrics and competitive advantages are in play here? Digital dashboards are recommended here to answer such questions. While the awareness on boards regarding risks originating from disruptive innovation, cyber threats and privacy risks has been increasing, board members must equally be able to challenge executives and identify opportunities and threats for their companies. This shift for companies is not only about digital technology but also cultural. How can people be managed when digital, virtual ways of working are increasing? What do robotics and “big data” analysis mean for managing people? One way to accelerate the digital learning process has been advocated: the use of digital apprentices for boards. For example, Board Apprentice, a non-profit organization, has already placed digital apprentices on boards for a year-long period (which helps to educate both apprentices and boards) in five different countries.

Keywords: Digitalization, Artificial Intelligence, 3D Printing, Blockchain

JEL Classification: G3, G30

Received: 08.07.2018

Accepted: 21.12.2018

Published online: 27.12.2018

How to cite this paper: Grove, H., Clouse, M., & Schaffner, L. G. (2018). Digitalization impacts on corporate governance. Journal of Governance & Regulation, 7(4), 51-63.