Browse

Browse

Back to Homepage

Cynthia Clark

Professor, Management
Fulbright Scholar, J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board
Founding Director, Harold S. Geneen Institute of Corporate Governance
Ph.D., Boston University, 2005
Office: Morison Hall 191 | 781.891._2015 | cclark@bentley.edu
                       


Expand All
Collapse All

Bio

Cynthia is the author of two books - Giving Voice to Values in the Boardroom and Business & Society: Ethical, Legal and Digital Environments. She is the founding director of the Harold S. Geneen Institute of Corporate Governance, an institute dedicated to bridging board of director research with practice. She has conducted training sessions on ethical decision-making, shareholder activism and optimal nominating and governance procedures to numerous senior management teams and boards of directors. Cynthia’s research interests concern ethics and governance issues in organizations with a particular focus on how firms do or do not address conflicts of interest, shareholder activism, privacy breaches and disclosing information. Recently published work has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Business Horizons, Strategic Management Journal, Business Ethics Quarterly, Journal of Business Ethics, Management Information Systems Quarterly, and Business & Society. Cynthia serves on the editorial board of the journal, Business & Society. Additionally, she is an active member in and frequent speaker for the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), 50/50 Women on Boards and the Society for Governance Professionals. She has been widely cited in the media on governance issues including The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, CNN and Reuters and multiple appearances on Bloomberg Radio. Prior to joining Bentley, Cynthia was a member of the faculty at Boston University, following a career in the banking and securities industry. She holds a PhD from the honors program at Boston University and a Master's degree from Northwestern University.

Teaching Interests

Corporate Governance; Ethics and Social Responsibility;<br>Strategic Management

Research Interests

Business & Society;<br>Corporate Governance & Ethics;<br>Social and Environmental Disclosures

Consulting/Practice Interests

Ethical Decision-making & culture, Corporate governance, Board dynamics, Governance best practices

Professional Links

http://www.cynthiaclarkphd.com
http://www.bentley.edu/academics/harold-s-geneen-institute-corporate-governance

Awards and Honors

2021, Keynote Speaker, Board Options Inc. - “Seat at the Table”
2021, Keynote Speaker, Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP - “Conflicts of Interest & Board Independence”
2021, Keynote Speaker, Morgan Stanley - “Are You Ready to Serve on a Public Board?”
2021, Keynote Speaker, Principles for Responsible Management Education - "PRMETalks: Gender Equality from Classrooms to Boardrooms"
2021, Winner, Most Promising New Textbook, Textbook & Academic Authors Association
2020, Keynote Speaker, Boardroom Bound - Giving Voice to Values in the Boardroom
2020, Keynote Speaker, Morgan Stanley - "Ethics, Conflicts & Bias”
2020, Sucheta Nadkarni Award for Outstanding Publication on Women Executive Leadership, Strategic Management Society
2019, Keynote Speaker, Association of Government Accountants - “Combating Bias”
2019, Keynote Speaker, National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) - “Diversity and its Effects on Board Culture”.
2019, McLaughlin Prize for Research in Accounting Ethics, Steed School of Accounting
2019, Most Inspirational Paper Award, European Academy of Management EURAM
2019, Best International Symposium, Academy of Management (AOM)
2018, Keynote Speaker, Louisiana Bankers Association - “Ethical Decision Making”
2018, Keynote Speaker, Society for Governance Professionals - “Director Diversity”
2018, Keynote Speaker, The Boston Club - “Value of Diversity on Boards”
2017, Keynote Speaker, Origin Bank - “Board Authenticity and Accountability”
2016, Fulbright Scholarship Recipient, J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board
2015, Citations of Excellence Award, Emerald Publishing
2015, Keynote Speaker, KPMG - “Ethical Decision Making: Conflicts and Bias”
2014, Keynote Speaker, Mass Society of CPAs - “Navigating Ethical Dilemmas and Conflicts of Interest”
2013, Best Paper Award, Strategic Management Society
2011, Best Paper Proceedings, Academy of Management
2005, Legacy Award, Boston University

Publications

Journal Article(s)
Clark, C., Gabaldon, P., Arora, P. Female Representation on Corporate Boards in Europe: The Interplay of Organizational Social Consciousness and Institutions. Journal of Business Ethics. Forthcoming

Clark, C. (2021). How do Standard Setters Define Materiality and Why does it Matter? Business Ethics: A European Review.

Clark, C., Riera, M., Iborra, M. (2021). Toward a Theoretical Framework of Corporate Social Irresponsibility: Clarifying the Gray Zones between Responsibility and Irresponsibility. Business & Society.

Stuart, A., Bedard, J. C., Clark, C. (2020). The value of assurance and ethics in difficult times: Investor decisions and corporate social responsibility disclosures. Journal of Business Ethics.

Clark, C., Steckler, E. (2019). Authenticity and corporate governance. Journal of Business Ethics, 155 (4), 951-963.

Guldiken, O., Mallon, M., Fainshmidt, S., Judge, W., Clark, C. (2019). Beyond tokenism: How strategic leaders influence more meaningful gender diversity on boards of directors. Strategic Management Journal, 40 (12), 2024-2046. (link)

Brown, J. A., Clark, C., Buono, A. (2018). The UN global compact: Engaging implicit and explicit CSR for global governance. Journal of Business Ethics, 4 (147), 721-734.

Geletkanycz, M., Clark, C., Gabaldon, P. (2018). When Boards Broaden Their Definition of Diversity, Women and People of Color Lose Out. Harvard Business Review. (link)

Clark, C., Bryant, A. P., Griffin, J. J. (2017). Firm Engagement and Social Issue Salience, Consensus, and Contestation. Business & Society, 56 (8), 1136-1168. (link)

Burke, J., Clark, C. (2016). The Business Case for Integrated Reporting: Insights from Leading Practitioners, Regulators and Academics. Business Horizons, May-June, 273-283.

Clark, C., Brown, J. A. (2015). Multinational Corporations and Governance Effectiveness: Towards a More Integrative Board. Journal of Business Ethics, 132 (3), 565-577.

Perrault, E., Clark, C. (2015). Environmental Shareholder Activism: Considering Status and Reputation in Firm Responsiveness. Organization & Environment, 29 (2), 194-211.

Clark, C., Newell, S. M. (2013). Institutional work and complicit decoupling across the U.S. capital markets: The work of rating agencies. Business Ethics Quarterly, 23 (1), 1-30. (link)

Clark, C., Van Buren, H. J. (2013). Compound Conflicts of Interest in the U.S. Proxy System. Journal of Business Ethics, 116 (2), 355-371. (link)

Clark, C., Perrault, E. (2012). Influencing climate change policy: the effect of shareholder pressure and firm environmental performance. Business & Society, 51 (1), 148-175. (link)

Culnan, M. J., Clark, C. (2009). How Ethics Can Enhance Organizational Privacy: Lessons from the ChoicePoint and TJX Data Breaches. MIS Quarterly, 33 (4), 673-687. (link)

Clark, C. (2008). Toward a taxonomy of corporate reporting strategies. Journal of Business Communication, 45 (3), 232-264. (link)

Clark, C. (2008). ChoicePoint Inc. and the Personal Data Industry. Case Research Journal, 27 (3-4), 115-130. (link)

Clark, C., Ryan, L. V. (2007). Courting shareholders: The ethical implications of altering ownership structures. Business Ethics Quarterly, 17 (4), 669-688. (link)

Clark, C. (2006). Hershey Foods Company: Board of Directors and Stakeholders Conflict Over Sale. Case Research Journal, 26 (1), 13-28. (link)

Clark, C. (2005). Trust diffusion: The effect of interpersonal trust on structure, function and organizational transparency. Business & Society, 44 (3), 357-368. (link)

Clark, C. (2002). Information disclosure: An analysis of regulation fair disclosure. The Strategist, 8 (4), 36-39.

Clark, C. (2000). Differences between public relations and corporate social responsibility: An analysis. Public Relations Review, 26 (3), 363-380. (link)

Books
Clark, C. (2020). Giving Voice to Values in the Boardroom. Rutledge Publishing. (link)

Clark, C, Chang, K. K, Melvin, S. (2020). Business & Society: Ethical, Legal and Digital Environments. Sage Publishing. (link)

Clark, C. Trust Diffusion: How Creating Climates of Trust can Influence Organizational Effectiveness. Saarbrucken, Germany: VDM Publishing. (link)

Book Chapters
Clark, C. (2019). The board of directors’ role in ensuring accountability and creating value: stakeholder and shareholder complementarity. In Ciulla, J. and & Scharding, T. (Eds.), Ethical Business Leadership in Troubling Times. Edward Elgar Publishing

Burke, J, Clark, C. (2015). Boards and Shareholders: Bridging the Divide. Shareholder Empowerment. Palgrave-Macmillan

Weaver, G, Clark, C. (2015). Integrity: interdisciplinary essays on theory and practice: The European and Northern American perspectives. Behavioral ethics, behavioral governance, and corruption in and by organizations. Palgrave Macmillan

Perrault, E, Clark, C. (2011). Non-financial Reporting. In O. Ihlen, Bartlett, J. and May, S. (Eds.), The Handbook of Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility, . Wiley Blackwell (link)

Clark, C, Ryan, L. (2010). Ethics in Investor Relations. In J. Boatright (Eds.), Finance Ethics: Critical Issues in Theory and Practice (pp. 475-493). Hoboken, NJ: . John Wiley & Sons (link)

Clark, C. (2007). Differences between public relations and corporate social responsibility: An analysis. In Crane, A. & Matten, D. (Eds.), Corporate Social Responsibility.. Sage Publications, Ltd. (link)

Cases
Clark, C. (2016). Google and the Right to Be Forgotten. McGraw-Hill.

Conference Proceeding(s)
Perrault, E., Clark, C., Berman, S. L. (2011). Stakeholder salience revisited: Enlightening, balancing and transcending. Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510: Academy of Management, Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings (1), 1-6.

Other(s)
Flynn, P. M, Clark, C, Wolfman, T, , . (2020). "Significant Progress: But Not for Everyone: The 2020 Census of Women Directors and Executive Officers of MA Public Companies". The Boston Club(18)

Clark, C. "Work Has Changed: How Boards Navigate Disruption and Drive Human Capital Transformation" . Women Corporate Directors & Pearl Meyer, 2020 Thought Leadership Commission Report

Conference Presentations

Clark, C. (2020). Presented at the National Association of Corporate Directors's NACD Virtual Summit 2020.

Clark, C. (2020). "Board Refreshment." Presented at the Strategic Management Society.

Murphy, A. M., Ward, A., Brown, J. A., Clark, C. (2020). "Board Refreshment." Presented at the Strategic Management Society's Annual Meeting of the Strategic Management Society, Virtual - London.

Clark, C. (2020). "Giving Voice to Values in the Boardroom." Presented at the Boardroom Bound's Boardroom Bound - Featured Podcast Interview.

Kurdyukov, R., Brown, J. A., Clark, C. (2020). "Managerial Discretion in Stakeholder Engagement: A Multi-level Story of Opportunities and Challenges." Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Vancouver, Canada (virtual).

Kurdyukov, R., Brown, J. A., Clark, C. (2020). "Managerial Discretion in Stakeholder Engagement: A Meso-level Story of Opportunities and Challenges." Presented at the International Association for Business and Society Annual Conference, Lisbon, Portugal (virtual).

Clark, C., Brown, J. A. (2020). "Board Refreshment as a Structural Elaboration." Presented at the University of Bath's CBOS Global Corporate Governance Summit, Virtual - London.

Clark, C. (2020). Presented at the Board Leaders's The Role of the Nonprofit Board Today.

Clark, C. (2020). Presented at the Principles for Responsible Management Education's 2020 Virtual PRME Global Forum.

Clark, C. (2020). Presented at the BDO's COVID-19: Higher Education Update .

Brown, J. A., Clark, C., Buono, A. F. (2019). "Firm-level Governance and the United Nations Global Compact: Challenges in Managing Co-existing Logics." Presented at the Academy of Management's Academy of Management Specialized Conference: Responsible Leadership in Rising Economies, Bled, Slovenia.

Clark, C. (2019). "Corporate Governance in Changing Institutional Environments." Presented at the Harold S. Geneen Institute's International Corporate Governance Society - Annual Conference, Colchester, UK.

Clark, C., Brown, J. A. (2019). "Women on Boards: New Insights from Global Research." Presented at the Academy of Management's Academy of Management, Boston, MA.

Clark, C. (2019). "Doctoral Consortium." Presented at the AOM's Academy of Management - Doctoral Consortium, Boston, MA.

Gabaldon, P., Arora, P., Clark, C. (2019). "When do firms choose substantive over symbolic compliance with board gender quotas?" Presented at the European Academy of Management EURAM, Portugal.

Clark, C. (2019). "Artificial Intelligence and the Responsibilities of Business: Mapping the Ethical Terrain." Presented at the State Street Foundation's Global Business Ethics Symposium, Waltham. MA.

Brown, J. A., Ward, A., Arora, P., Clark, C. (2018). "Aftermath of Failed Coups: The Circulation of Power after Director Resignations." Presented at the Strategic Management Society 's Annual Meeting of the Strategic Management Society Conference, Paris.

Ghaddar, S., Brown, J. A., Clark, C. (2018). "Board of Director “Freshness” and CSP: Investigating the Moderating Role of Board Gender Diversity." Presented at the The Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois.

Ghaddar, S., Clark, C. (2018). "Women on Boards: Moving Beyond the Business Case to a Moral Justification." Presented at the The Society for Business Ethics Conference, Chicago, Illinois.

Stuart, A., Bedard, J. C., Clark, C. (2018). "The value of assurance and ethics in difficult times: Corporate social responsibility disclosures and investor decisions." Presented at the International Symposium on Auditing Research, Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Stuart, A., Bedard, J. C., Clark, C. (2018). "The value of assurance and ethics in difficult times: Corporate social responsibility disclosures and investor decisions." Presented at the British Accounting and Finance Association's Auditing and Assurance Conference, Dublin, Ireland.

Clark, C. (2017). "The Director Selection Process: A Field Study from the Candidates’ Perspective." Presented at the SMS's Strategic Management Society, Houston TX.

Clark, C. (2017). "Integrating Identity into Corporate Board Selection and Composition." Presented at the Harold S. Geneen Institute of Corporate Goverance's International Corporate Governance Society, Rome, Italy.

Brown, J. A., Clark, C. (2017). "The director selection process: A structural elaboration story." Presented at the International Association for Business and Society, Amsterdam.

Clark, C. (2016). "Conference Chair." Presented at the Harold S. Geneen Insititute's International Corporate Governance Society (ICGS), Bentley University.

Clark, C. (2016). "Moderator." Presented at the Academy of Management - Social Issues in Management's Academy of Management - Governance & Social Responsibility, Anaheim, CA.

Clark, C. (2016). "Workshop Facilitator." Presented at the Academy of Management's Academy of Management - Humanistic Management Workshop, Anaheim, CA.

Clark, C. (2016). "Faculty Workshop Leader." Presented at the Academy of Management - Organizations in the Natural Environment (ONE)'s Academy of Management - ONE Doctoral Workshop, Anaheim, CA.

Clark, C. (2016). "Paper Presentation." Presented at the Society for Business Ethics's Society for Business Ethics - Disclosure & Ethics, Anaheim, CA.

Clark, C. (2016). "Faculty Expert." Presented at the Society for Business Ethics's Society for Business Ethics - Emerging Scholars Workshop, Anaheim, CA.

Clark, C. (2016). "Faculty Expert." Presented at the Society for Business Ethics's Society for Business Ethics - Speed Mentoring, Anaheim, CA.

Clark, C. (2016). "Paper Presentation & Panelist." Presented at the SBE's Society for Business Ethics - Strategic Global Strategy Panel, Anaheim, CA.

Clark, C. (2016). "Conference Chair." Presented at the Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility's Global Business Ethics Symposium, Bentley University.

Clark, C. (2015). "Conference Co-Chair." Presented at the ICGS and Geneen Institute's International Corporate Governance Society (ICGS), Copenhagen.

Brown, J. A., Clark, C., Buono, A. F., Stuart, A. (2015). "The UN Global Compact: Looking for a Balance Between Implicit and Explicit CSR." Presented at the Vincentian Business Ethics Conference, New York, NY.

Brown, J. A., Clark, C. (2015). "Corporate Director Power." Presented at the IABS's International Association of Business & Society, Cost Rica.

Clark, C. (2014). "The Complementarity of Stakeholder and Stockholder Theories." Presented at the Strategic Management Society, Madrid, Spain.

Clark, C. (2014). "Board Accountability in a Shareholder Empowered World." Presented at the Henley Centre for Governance, Accountability & Responsible Investment (GARI)'s Governance and Integrated Thinking, Henley Business School.

Clark, C., Brown, J. A. (2014). "Multinational Corporations and Governance Effectiveness: Towards a More Integrative Board." Presented at the 2014 Academy of Management Conference, Philadelphia PA.

Clark, C., Newell, S. M. (2014). "Managing Contradiction: Stockholder and Stakeholder Views of the Firm as Paradoxical Opportunity." Presented at the Society for Business Ethics, Philadelphia, PA.

Clark, C. (2013). "Stakeholder Theory and accounting theory: never the two shall meet?" Presented at the Cass Business School's Research Workshop, London, UK.

Clark, C., Brown, J. A. (2013). "Global governance, business ethics and anti-corruption initiatives." Presented at the DePaul's Vincentian Business Ethics Conference, Chicago, Illinois.

Clark, C., Grosvold, J. (2013). "Accelerating to go Nowhere: An Empirical Test of the Role of the Corporate Board of Directors in Sanctioning and Decoupling Board Policy." Presented at the Academy of Management, Orlando, FL.

Clark, C., Steckler, E., Newell, S. (2013). "Managing Contradiction in Business and Society: Stockholder and Stakeholder Views of the Firm as Paradoxical Opportunity." Presented at the European Group of Organization Studies (EGOS), Montreal, Canada.

Clark, C., Griffin, J., Bryant, A. (2013). "Issue Materiality and Stakeholder Theory." Presented at the Strategic Management Society, Glasgow, Scotland.

Clark, C., Griffin, J., Bryant, A. (2012). "Issue-driven Activism." Presented at the Strategic Management Society, Prague, CZ.

Perrault, E., Clark, C. (2012). "Stakeholder Status and Firm Responsiveness." Presented at the Academy of Management, Boston, MA.

Clark, C., Perrault, E., Berman, S. L. (2011). "Enlightening, Balancing and Transcending." Presented at the Academy of Management, San Antonio.

Clark, C., Fitza, M. (2011). "Where to draw the line: Transparency and competitive advantage." Presented at the Strategic Management Society, Miami, Florida.

Perrault, E., Clark, C. (2010). "Non-starters and poor performers: Firm responses to direct and indirect environmental engagement." Presented at the Academy of Management - social issues in management's Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada.

Clark, C. (2009). "Competing demands: Information sharing and withholding decisions amidst institutional pressures." Presented at the Academy of Management, Chicago, IL.

Clark, C., Crawford, E. P. (2009). "Voluntary Reporting on Environmental and Social Issues: An institutional analysis of practices in France, the United Kingdom and the United States." Presented at the European Association of Business in Society, Barcelona, Spain.

Proffitt, T., Clark, C., Rehbein, K. (2009). "Shareholder Activism As The Primary Vehicle of Governance: Is It Working?" Presented at the International Association of Business & Society, Aspen, CO.

Perrault, E., Clark, C. (2009). "Voluntary Reporting on Environmental and Social Issues: An institutional analysis of practices in France, the United Kingdom and the United States." Presented at the EABIS's Eurpoean Association of Business and Society, Barcelona, Spain.

Dawkins, C. E., Clark, C. (2008). "Beyond Acclamations and Excuses: An Analysis of Environmental Performance and Environmental Disclosure." Presented at the International Association of Business & Society, Tampere, Finland.

Clark, C., Segui, E. (2008). "Corporate governance and business ethics in cluster countries in the European Union." Presented at the International Association of Business & Society, Tempere, Finland.

Clark, C. (2007). "Modeling the corporate disclosure decision making processes of top management." Presented at the Academy of Management, Philadelphia.

Clark, C. (2007). "Influences on the scope of corporate disclosure programs: Environmental factors and managerial commitment." Presented at the International Association of Business & Society, Florence, Italy.

Clark, C. (2006). "Trust within and between groups: Leader ties and boundary spanning groups." Presented at the Academy of Management, Atlanta.

Clark, C., Ryan, L. V. (2006). "Courting shareholders: The ethical implications of altering ownership structures." Presented at the Society for Business Ethics, Atlanta.

Clark, C. (2005). "Corporate disclosure strategies: An analysis of investor approach and institutional effects." Presented at the Academy of Management, Honolulu.

Clark, C. (2005). "Selling an American icon: Governance, group dynamics and stakeholder pressure at Hershey Foods Company." Presented at the North American Case Researchers Association, New Seabury, MA.

Clark, C. (2004). "Information disclosure strategy: Corporate transparency enactment and investor trust." Presented at the International Association of Business and Society, Sonoma, CA.

Service

Department Service
Mentor (Faculty) for Faculty adviser - tenure track, 2020 - Present
Committee Member for Organizational Behavior Search Committee, 2018 - Present
Committee Member for Tenure Review Committee, 2015 - Present
Course Coordinator for Assurance of Learning - MG 345 all sections, 2009 - 2021
Committee Member for Summer Grant Application Reviewer, 2014 - 2019
Committee Member for MG 345 Learning Assessment, 2015 - 2018
Task Force Member for Management Dept. Succession Planning Ctte., 2014 - 2017
Mentor (Student) for First Year Seminar, 2016 - 2016
Committee Member for Scholarship Committee, 2013 - 2015
Task Force Member for Strategic Management Core, 2007 - 2010
Course Coordinator for Assurance of Learning - PhD Programs, 2008 - 2008

University Service
Committee Member for Search Committee - Center for Women in Business, 2021 - Present
Committee Member for University Research Council, 2021 - Present
Committee Member for Coordinated Community Response Team (CCRT), 2020 - Present
Committee Member for Sustainability Green Fund, 2018 - Present
Mentor (Faculty) for Conversation Partners, 2017 - Present
Mentor (Faculty) for FUSIO, 2015 - Present
Member for Curriculum Policy Committee, 2013
Faculty Research Fellow for Center for Business Ethics Research Fellow, 2010
Harold S. Geneen Institute of Corporate Governance, Director, 2008 - Present
Program Organizer for Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility, 2013 - 2019
Program Organizer for Next Generation PhD Workshop, Founder & Coordinator, 2008 - 2019
Committee Member for PhD Academic Performance Standards Committee , 2015 - 2019
Committee Member for Assurance of Learning, 2018 - 2019
Member for PhD Council, 2006 - 2018
Program Organizer for United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education, 2018 - 2018
Committee Member for EQUIS Accreditation, 2015 - 2017
Committee Member for NEASC Accreditation, Integrity Standard , 2012 - 2016
Committee Member for EQUIS Accreditation, 2010 - 2015
Member for PhD Director Search Committee, 2014 - 2014
Associate Coordinator for Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility, 2011 - 2013
Associate Director for PhD Programs, 2006 - 2010
Task Force Member for Assurance of Learning Initiative , 2008 - 2009

Professional Service
Conference/Workshop Session Chair for 2020 Women on Boards, 2020 - Present
Committee Member for Society for Corporate Secretaries & Governance Professionals, 2014 - Present
Editor, Journal for Business & Society, 2012 - Present
Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer for Social Issues in Management, Academy of Management, 2010 - Present
Board of Advisors of a Company for International Corporate Governance Society, 2014 - 2019
Board Member: for Social Issues in Management Division - Academy of Management, 2013 - 2018
Board Member: for Strategic Management Society, Stakeholder Strategies Division, 2015 - 2017
Reviewer, Conference Paper for International Corporate Governance Society, 2015 - 2015
Conference Co-Organizer: for International Corporate Governance Society, 2014 - 2015

Public Service
Committee Member for BDO Center for Corporate Governance, 2019 - Present
Member for National Association of Corporate Directors, 2009 - Present