Seminar Series

The Cadbury Report 1992: Shared vision and beyond


Professor Christopher Napier


Royal Holloway University

Time & Place

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 13:00:00 NZDT in Law 409

All are welcome


This paper explores the shift from the Cadbury Report (1992) norms and rules to the current UK Corporate Governance Code (2016) focusing upon the reasoning, the influences and the implications thereof. The Cadbury Report (1992) has provided us with the legacy of definition of the corporate governance as the “system by which companies are directed and controlled”, voluntary adoption of the governance best practices and the “comply or explain” principle.
The adoption of good governance practices is especially significant for the relationship between managers and shareholders in achieving high standards of corporate behaviour. Issues relating to managerial accountability, transparency, and regulation have been complex and still require further evaluation. The publication of the Cadbury Report (1992) has proven to be an influential in the development of a number of corporate governance codes worldwide. The greatest achievement of the Cadbury Report (1992) is the voluntary adoption of the corporate governance recommendations and use of the comply or explain principle.
We believe that the flexibility provided by the adoption of the voluntary code of best practice is the strength of corporate governance in the UK, yet the constantly evolving UK corporate governance code may be an indication of a deeper problem. An important part of the corporate governance is the prioritisation of the shareholder value, and although this is still the case, the UK Corporate Governance Code 2016 has veered for behavioural change. and requiring further confirmation by directors on several matters such as risk management, internal control, and going concern suggesting greater accountability, with further changes to disclosure and confirmation by the directors. This reaffirms that the corporate governance is changing, and is expected to change in the future.


Christopher Napier is Professor of Accounting in the School of Management at Royal Holloway University of London. After studying Mathematics and Philosophy at Oxford University, he qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. (now KPMG) in London. In 1979, he joined the faculty at the London School of Economics, and in 1996 he was appointed Professor of Accounting at the University of Southampton, where he gained his PhD degree. He moved to Royal Holloway in 2006. Christopher is the author or co-author of some 80 research papers, books and contributions to edited volumes, covering a wide range of interests: accounting history, theory of financial reporting, specific accounting issues (retirement benefits and intangibles), accounting and law, corporate governance, and Islamic accounting. Christopher was a member of Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) from 1997 to 2000.