College of Law Faculty Scholarship

Title

Does Sarbanes-Oxley Foster the Existence of Ethical Executive Role Models in the Corporation?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2008

Abstract

If compliance with, or the efficacy of, Sarbanes-Oxley and other corporate governance initiatives requires that executives (or other firm leaders) be good ethical role models, then it is important to ask whether Sarbanes-Oxley - or any other attribute of existing corporate governance regulation - in fact promotes or permits the production or preservation of ethical role models in the executive ranks of public companies. An absence of support for ethical role models in public companies may signal the failure of broad-based federal corporate governance initiatives like Sarbanes-Oxley.

This Article assumes that ethical roles models may be important to the maintenance of good corporate governance (in general) and the success of Sarbanes-Oxley as a corporate governance initiative (in specific). With that in mind, the Article preliminarily analyzes, using legal and social sciences literature, whether Sarbanes-Oxley may encourage or discourage the existence of ethical role models in the corporation.

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