What are we saying when we talk about corporate governance?
The paper analyses the discourses of corporate board members with regard to their world-views of governance and the influence that their collective mind-sets might have on the wider practice of governance. The metaphors employed by board members to describe corporate governance are examined and compared with the literature to establish the extent to which they reflect normative theory and prescription. Our analysis confirms an overwhelming pre-occupation among board members with compliance and control, which may have unintended consequences, as well as implications for organisational innovation and enterprising. The paper also contributes to the literature in examining the value of metaphor based, interpretive discourse analysis as a methodological approach outside the usual frameworks of corporate governance research that may contribute a new perspective on mental-models-in-existence among practitioners and enhance theory development.