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Alice Klettner

Core Member, Centre for Corporate Governance

Natural Sciences, Law, Legal Practice, International Law, Natural Sciences

Email: Alice.Klettner@uts.edu.au
Phone: +61 2 9514 3080
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Room: CB05B.04.33 (map)
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Biography

Alice Klettner is a core member of the Centre for Corporate Governance at the University of Technology, Sydney.  Previously a practicing solicitor, Alice approaches the topic of corporate governance from a legal and regulatory angle.  Research interests include the role and responsibilities of boards of directors, corporate responsibility and sustainability and gender diversity in leadership.  Using qualitative methods her research explores the impact of corporate law and regulation on society.

Publications

Research books

Clarke, T., Nielsen, B.B., Nielsen, S., Klettner, A.L. & Boersma, M. 2012, Australian Census of Women in Leadership, 1, Australian Government EOWA, Sydney, Australia.
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A research book commissioned by the Austrlan Government Equal Opportunity Agency. This work reports the results of the 2012 Australian Census of Women in Leadership. The survey includes an analysis of the ASX 500 companies boards and executives gender diversity; gender diversity in public sector boards; and comparison with international initiatives in gender diversity in leadership positions. The work provides a detailed analysis of a large data base, and analytical commentary of the results. There is an assessment of remaining obstacles to achieving greater diversity, and analysis of what is required to create a better pipeline for the development of women for leadership.

Research books chapters

Klettner, A.L. 2012, 'Corporate governance and the global financial crisis: The regulatory response' in Thomas Clarke and Douglas Branson (eds), The SAGE Handbook of Corporate Governance, SAGE, London, pp. 556-584.
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Corporate governance regulation invariably follows the business cycle. In times or crisis and collapse there is public pressure to increase regulation in oreler to prevenl similar problems occurring in future. When the economy is booming, serious consideration of corporate governance regulation is confined to the desks of company secretaries, regulators and interested academics. This is not to say that corporate governance practices are abandoned in good times, only that the status quo is accepted and there is less impetus for review and improvement (Clarke, 2004).

Clarke, T. & Klettner, A.L. 2009, 'Implementing corporate social responsibility: A creative tension between regulation and corporate initiatives?' in Aras, G; Crowther, D (eds), Global Perspectives on Corporate Governance and CSR, Gower Publishing/Ashgate, Surrey, England, pp. 269-312.
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Refereed journal articles

Klettner, A.L., Clarke, T. & Boersma, M. 2013, 'The impact of soft law on social change: Measurable objectives for achieving gender diversity on board of directors', Australian Journal of Corporate Law, vol. 28, pp. 148-176.
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In 2010 the Australian Securities Exchange's Principles of Corporate Governance were amended to include three new recommendations dealing with gender diversity in listed corporations. The recommendations suggest that companies implement a diversity policy, set measurable objectives for achieving gender diversity and measure the number of women at various levels of the organisation. This article examines companies+ early response to the amendments. It presents an empirical analysis of the disclosures made by ASX 200 companies in their 2011 annual reports. The article builds on and develops research carried out by the authors for the 2012 Australian Census of Women in Leadership which found that, although the number of women on corporate boards had increased since 2010, there was not a similar increase in women in senior executive teams. It presents evidence that there are positive changes being implemented in the majority of ASX 200 companies that should, over time, make a difference to the ability of women to reach positions of leadership. The Australian approach of encouraging change through organisation-wide policy improvements and targets will hopefully improve female representation along the length of the pipeline to leadership and not only at the top. The ASX policy was formulated in the context of an international debate regarding the relative benefits of quotas and targets in achieving gender diversity on boards. In major European countries mandatory quotas were adopted, while in Australia and other countries voluntary targets set. Quotas secure substantial change through compliance, while targets may encourage change through strategic initiatives. This research examines early evidence of the impact of both hard and soft law on social change

Klettner, A.L., Boersma, M. & Clarke, T. 2012, 'Women in Leadership', Keeping Good Companies, vol. 64, no. 11, pp. 648-654.
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Launching the 2012 Australian Census of Women in Leadership, the Governor General of Australia Quentin Bryce was able to announce a significant increase in the number of women on ASX 200 boards to 12.3 per cent of directorships, up from 8.4 per cent in 2002. Successive earlier Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) censuses conducted over the ten years since 2002 had indicated no significant improvement in female board representation. However, now a breakthrough has occurred.

Klettner, A.L. & Clarke, T. 2011, 'Board Performance Evaluation Post-Financial Crisis', Keeping Good Companies, vol. 63, no. 4, pp. 200-206.
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Over the last ten years, the practice of conducting performance evaluations of boards of directors has become commonplace in large corporations. Not only is the process widely established but it is seen as an essential tool in achieving better board performance and effectiveness.

Klettner, A.L., Clarke, T. & Adams, M.A. 2010, 'Corporate governance reform: An empirical study of the changing roles and responsibilities of Australian boards and directors', Australian Journal of Corporate Law, vol. 24, pp. 148-176.
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This article draws together some of the legal and management literature relevant to the theory and design of qualitative empirical research in the field of corporate governance. It goes on to describe the methodology used by the authors in a project involving interviews with representatives of 67 Australian companies. One of the aims of the project was to examine the changing roles and responsibilities of company boards and directors following legal and regulatory reform.It is only through improving our knowledge of the day to day processes occurring in board rooms that we can really understand the complex relationship between the regulatory framework and the control of corporations in practice. Our evidence was that with regard to the Australian corporate governance framework, over-regulation is not as critical an issue as often suggested, instead the Ô++comply or explainÔ++ mechanism is well understood and permits sufficient flexibility for companies to find an acceptable cost-benefit balance.

Clarke, T. & Klettner, A.L. 2009, 'Regulatory responses to the global financial crisis - the next cycle of corporate governance reform?', Keeping Good Companies, vol. 61, no. 5, pp. 280-286.
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The causes of the global financial crisis are complex and multidimensional. A combination of factors including low interest rates, highly complex financial products, poor risk management and excessive incentive schemes contributed to the spectacular failure of many financial institutions, which in turn has damaged the wider international economy. The long-term policy response to deal with the crisis has focused on issues of transparency, disclosure, and risk management. The coordinated global effort to rebuild the financial system and restore economic growth has three essential dimensions: + containing the contagion and restoring market operations + coping with long-term systemic problems + aligning international regulation and oversight of financial institutions.

Klettner, A.L., Clarke, T. & Adams, M.A. 2007, 'Balancing Act - the Tightrope of Corporate Governance Reform', Keeping Good Companies, vol. 59, no. 11, pp. 648-653.
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Over the last five years, corporate governance has proved an insistent issue in the boardrooms of Australia. In March 2003, the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) Corporate Governance Council launched its Principles of Good Corporate Governance and Best Practice Recommendations (the guidelines). The following year amendments to the Corporations Act 2001 came into force, designed to improve corporate accountability and auditing practices. In annual reports for 2004-2005, Australian corporations were asked to disclose more information about their corporate governance practices than ever before. This prompted a review of existing governance structures and procedures against those recommended or required by the new regulation.

Klettner, A.L. 2004, 'Protection of the Environment During Armed Conflict: One Gulf, Two Wars', Review of European Community and International Environmental Law, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 201-213.
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This article is concerned with the role of international law in the protection of the natural environment 1 during armed conflict. It is an issue that last attracted the world+s attention in 1991 when Iraq released enormous quantities of oil into Kuwait and the Persian Gulf as part of its tactics in the first Gulf War (Gulf War I). 2 We now approach the issue following a second war in the Gulf (Gulf War II), in which the environmental damage appears to be less than in 1991, but still significant. 3 Although there was no repeat of the devastating oil pollution of 1991, damage from Gulf War II included atmospheric pollution from oil fires, 4 depleted uranium contamination, 5 damage to fragile desert ecosystems 6 and water pollution from disrupted waste management systems.

Reports

Clarke, T., Klettner, A.L. 2007, 'Tip of the Iceberg? Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability: The new business imperatives? An International Comparison', Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA), Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-52.
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A substantial increase in the range, significance and impact of corporate social and environmental initiatives in recent years suggests the growing materiality of sustainability. Once regarded as a concern of a few philanthropic individuals and companies, corporate social and environmental responsibility is becoming established in many corporations as a critical element of strategic direction, and one of the main drivers of business development, as well as an essential component of risk management. Corporate social and environmental responsibility (CSR) is rapidly moving from the margins to the mainstream of corporate activity, with greater recognition of a direct and inescapable relationship between corporate governance, corporate responsibility, business performance and sustainable business development.

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