Companies are making a greater effort to increase the independence of their boards of directors, improve transparency and shareholder communications and tie executives' compensation to earnings. And it is safe to say that this trend to strengthen corporate governance policies will continue, according to a member survey conducted by the Business Roundtable, a Washington-based association of chief executive officers from leading U.S. companies. The survey was completed by 105 of the association's 160 members.

Altogether, these policies should improve earnings, according to the association.

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