Corporations are a fascinating area to look at when it comes to elections. There exists a complete spectrum of democratic principles regarding the management of a corporation. In this, our first part looking at corporations we take a look at the general structure of corporations and the types of elections they hold.
The Importance of Corporate Shareholders
Shareholders are ultimately in charge of the direction the company takes but in most cases, indirectly. This depends largely on the distribution of shares between shareholders, and indeed, how many shareholders a particular company has. For example, a start-up with four shareholders and four shares would mean that each shareholder controls 25% of the company. If they wanted to hire someone to manage the business for them, or a specialist in a certain field, three out of four of them would need to agree on the right candidate.
In a listed company with thousands of shareholders, the principle ultimately remains very similar. Shareholders may elect representatives to help manage the company on their behalf. These are called directors and work as part of a board. The board is responsible for leading and managing the corporation.
Corporations Board Elections
How elections are managed depends largely on the voting rights that shareholders have. Facebook and Google, for example, are listed corporations but do not need to have their board of directors elected by all of their shareholders. In the case of Facebook, control of the company is restricted to a small group shareholders:
|Class A||1 Vote per Share|
|Class B||10 Votes per Share|
|Class C||No voting rights|
This enables Mark Zuckerberg to have a minority stake in Facebook, but retain his control over the company. Creating different voting structures for such large companies is rare and it is a testament to the faith that investors have in the leadership of these companies.
Many corporations have just one tier of voting rights, where one share equates to one vote. The shareholders elect the board, who in turn come up with prospective candidates for shareholders to vote on. The board is able, therefore to ensure that outgoing members are replaced with a selection of candidates that have been properly vetted. Shareholders do however still retain the right to put forward candidates of their own according to the corporation’s bylaws.
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Employee Feedback Surveys
It is no secret that skilled workers are in extraordinary demand and skills are becoming highly transferable. In every sector, corporations are waking up to the need to listen to the demands of their employees. Companies are investing more capital into ensuring that their workers are productive and highly motivated and one of their most powerful tools is the employee feedback survey.
Medium sized and Larger corporations, ranging from hundreds to many thousands of employees are conducting surveys on their employees. They help to ensure that workers are happy with the company as a whole, and crucially in their departments. Conducting a well planned and thought through employee feedback survey can help unlock the most out of your corporation.