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Director Roundtable: Stakeholder Expectations and the 21st Century Board

In collaboration with:

New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies

Global pressures and advances in communication have influenced the way organizations communicate and engage with their stakeholders. Our panelists will discuss the myriad issues faced by organizations as they listen to and engage with their stakeholders, including key questions such as:

  • If an organization adopts the philosophy that the way to create value is by paying attention to all the stakeholders who create that value—employees, customers, shareholders, creditors, communities, the environment—what is the board’s role in prioritizing and balancing stakeholder expectations?
  • If an organization carefully listens to its stakeholders’ expectations before management decisions are made will this only delay the process, or will it improve the quality of those decisions? Should each organization develop its own stakeholder listening policy as a core part of its own culture? What role should the Board play in establishing a stakeholder listening culture? 


  • Richard Edelman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Edelman
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  • Toni Muzi Falconi, Senior Counsel, Methodos; Adjunct Professor, New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies and LUMSA Università
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  • James Grunig, Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland
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  • Emilio Galli Zugaro, Head of Group Communications, Allianz
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Opening remarks by Jonathan Spector, President and Chief Executive Officer, 
The Conference Board 
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The Discussion

Note: Due to technical restrictions at the Director Roundtable, this recording was recorded prior to the session with three of the panelists and was moderated by Marcel Bucsescu, Assistant Director of The Conference Board Governance Center. 

Program Materials

Global Stakeholder Relationships Governance: An Infrastructure
03 December, 2013 | Palgrave Pivot
By arguing and detailing the elements of a soft and hard infrastructure approach to the process of global stakeholder relationships governance, this book integrates advanced, flexible and, most importantly, feasible tools to develop an organization's listening culture; integrated reporting as an ongoing process of continued, multichannel, multi stakeholder reporting; to align internal and external relationships; to enhance stakeholder involvement and engagement and to perform effective stakeholder network analysis.

Beyond corporate social responsibility: Integrated external engagement
March 2013 | McKinsey & Company
Traditional corporate social responsibility (CSR) is failing to deliver, for both companies and society. Executives need a new approach to engaging the external environment. We believe that the best one is to integrate external engagement deeply into business decision making at every level of a company. In this article, we show how to make that kind of integrated external engagement (IEE) a reality. We set out to answer three questions. Are companies doing well at external engagement? Where might they be going wrong? How can they do better?

King Report on Governance for South Africa (& King III Amendment)
01 September, 2009 | Institute of Directors in Southern Africa
The King Report III is the third iteration of the influential King Report on Governance, which lays out practices at the forefront of governance, focuses on the importance of conducting business reporting annually in an integrated manner.

King Code of Governance Principles (King III)
01 September, 2009 | Institute of Directors in Southern Africa
The King Code of Governance principles complement the King Report and outline the comply or explain principles behind the King report.


Additional Resources from The Conference Board

Stakeholder Capitalism
04 March, 2013 | Director Roundtable
In this discussion with Hedrick Smith, Dr. Kleinfeld shares his experience and perspective on the stakeholder capitalist model that he experienced in Germany and how he thinks it could help the U.S. move back to long-term sustainable growth.

Bar Is Rising on Sustainability Leadership
23 January, 2013 | Director Notes
In a reflection of ongoing corporate efforts to define and achieve sustainability goals, real performance on sustainability is rising. On the other hand, stakeholders’ perceptions about organizations’ performance are declining.

Stakeholder Dialogue in Germany, Italy, and the United States
11 July, 2012 | Director Notes
This Director Notes describes the results of an international survey on 249 stakeholder dialogue (SD) initiatives undertaken by firms in Germany, Italy, and the United States.

Collaboration Between Multistakeholder Standards: A Governance Perspective
June, 2012 | Director Notes
This report examines the nature, benefits, and shortcomings of existing multistakeholder corporate social responsibility (CSR) standards, and it discusses how businesses can better coordinate their participation in a variety of initiatives.

The Intangible Drivers of Future Performance and Value
March, 2012 | Special Webcast
The infrastructure driving shareholder and stakeholder value in today’s business is made up of intangible (rather than tangible) assets. Learn what’s behind this shift and how to measure, manage and monetize the intangibles behind your company’s success.


The Conference Board Governance Center Director Roundtables are regular sessions focused on key issues that impact the boardroom. For upcoming programs, and to access past session, please visit

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