Corporate governance is the set of policies, processes, customs, laws and institutions affecting the way a corporation is directed, administered or controlled. Corporate governance also includes the relationships among the many stakeholders involved and the goals for which the corporation is governed. The principal stakeholders are the shareholders, board of directors and the management. Other stakeholders include customers, creditors (e.g., banks, bond holders), employees, suppliers, regulators, and the community at large.

Corporate governance is a multi-faceted subject. An important theme of corporate governance is to ensure the accountability of certain individuals in an organization through mechanisms that try to reduce or eliminate the principal-agent problem. A related but separate thread of discussions focus on the impact of a corporate governance system in economic efficiency, with a strong emphasis on shareholders welfare. There are yet other aspects to the corporate governance subject, such as the stakeholder view and the corporate governance models around the world.