Master’s degree in Business Administration and Corporate Law

Course partially running (all years except the first)

Corporate Governance

Course code
Name of lecturers
Alessandro Lai, Francesca Rossignoli
Alessandro Lai
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
primo semestre (lauree magistrali) dal Oct 5, 2020 al Dec 23, 2020.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

This course aims to offer tools and conceptual categories useful to understand how corporations are governed, who influences the governance through its economic control, and what mechanisms steer the outcome distribution of their business in the context of current economic systems. Governance systems are explored considering the rules that are pivotal part of the company structure and its daily operations, as well as the whole process of directing and controlling the business with the aim of preserve and increase the value for both shareholders and stakeholders, over time. The course enhances the learning of the methodological basics needed to understand problems of governance and the ability to interpret real situations presented as business case studies. At the end of the learning process and in accordance with the learning purposes of the course — which aim to integrate the methodological knowledge with the interpretation of concrete business situations — what is requested to the student is twofold. First, the student must demonstrate to know and under-stand the typologies of corporate governance operating in the market, laws affecting corporate gov-ernance, and related processes. Second, through the study of the cases presented during the course, the student must demonstrate to interpret, critically comment, and solve cases and related problems on corporate governance.



1. The evolution of the debate about corporate governance
1.1. The problem of governing and economic control of companies
1.2. Corporate governance studies
1.3. Thoughts on corporate governance and literature models

2. Ownership structure of International markets – european and international trends
2.1. The Anglosaxon models (USA – UK)
2.2. The German and Japanese models
2.3. The French and Latin models
2.4. The Italian Model
2.5. Evolution of Italian firms

3. The regulatory framework on governance
3.1. Main areas of interest for corporate governance
3.2. The Italian laws on corporate governance
3.3. The Governance Codes
3.4. The Italian Governance Code (2020)

4. Governance tools and roles
4.1. The actors of Corporate Governancen
4.2. Compositions, operations and roles of governance bodies
4.2.1. The board of directors
4.2.2. The President
4.2.3. Executive and non-executive directors
4.2.4. Independent directors
4.2.5. Committees inside the board
4.2.6. Nomination committee and board self-assessment
4.2.7. Remuneration committee and remuneration policy

4.3. Composition, operations and roles of control bodies
4.3.1 The internal control system – control indipendence – The Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX)
4.3.2. The Control and Risk Committee
4.3.3. Tools to safeguard legality and correctness of governance actions - Audit on compliance of business processes
4.3.4. The “Organismo di Vigilanza” according to the Italian law (L. Decree 231/2001)
4.3.5. Risk management in governance operations
4.3.6. Internal auditing and its role in governance
4.3.7. The statutory auditors and the Control Commettee

4.4. Other roles and relevant functions
4.4.1. CFO and Reporting processes
4.4.2. The Investor relator

5. Correlations between governance and risk system
5.1. Risk Management Measurement Models
5.2. Risk management in Italian listed companies
5.3. Risk management and performance: some empirical evidences
5.4. Enterprise risk management and market value of Italian companies
5.5. Integrated reporting and risk disclosure: evidence from the "pilot project" IIRC
5.6. The role of compliance programs in corporate governance
5.7. The “3-lines of defence model” in reducing operational risks

6. Case studies


Participants of the whole course are invited to study the aspects presented during the course, download the slides available on the course website, together with the study of some parts of suggested textbooks

- Alessandro Lai, Giulia Leoni and Riccardo Stacchezzini, Accounting and governance in diverse settings – an introduction, Accounting History 2019, Vol. 24(3) 325–337, just pp. 325-330, free download through University VPN from:
- Patrizia Riva (a cura di), Ruoli di corporate governance. Assetti organizzativi e DNF, Egea, Milano, 2020, prima parte: capitoli 1-13 e 15-18.
- Alessandro Lai (a cura di), Il contributo del sistema di prevenzione e gestione dei rischi alla generazione del valore d'impresa, Franco Angeli, Milano, 2013, relativamente ai capitoli: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9
- Comitato per la Corporate Governance, Codice di Corporate Governance, 2020,

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Alessandro Lai, Giulia Leoni, Riccardo Stacchezzini Accounting and governance in diverse settings - an introduction (Edizione 24) Sage: rivista Accounting History 24(3), pp. 325-337 2019 Lo scritto è scaricabile gratuitamente attraverso la VPN dell’Università dal sito:
Comitato per la Corporate Governance Codice di Corporate Governance 2020
Alessandro Lai (a cura di) Il contributo del sistema di prevenzione e gestione dei rischi alla generazione del valore d'impresa Franco Angeli 2013 9788820490034
Patrizia Riva Ruoli di Corporate Governance. Aspetti organizzativi e DNF Egea 2020 9788823837607 Ai fini dell'esame ha rilievo la PRIMA PARTE del volume relativamente ai Capitoli 1-13 e 15-18

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam consists of a written test «at distance», which will be explained later, considering the evolution of the pandemic emergency.
The rules are both for people attending the lessons and for other people. For people attending the course, the exam deals mainly with issues dealt with during the lectures, while for others, a deep knowldege of texbooks is required.

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