What is Quorum (Governance)?

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A quorum is a practice that is often found in groups, businesses, and corporations that maintain different stakeholders in the organization. The purpose of a quorum is to outline a minimum number of board members, stakeholders, or shareholders that must be present to conduct decision-making on behalf of the organization. Usually, a simple majority of 51% or higher suffices. 

In the effort of determining a quorum, organizations will employ their own means of establishing a quorum. But some employed guidelines are considered beneficial to certain organizational structures. Roberts Rules of Order is one such practice. 

in the absence of a quorum

Without having a sufficient quorum, businesses often use a set of rules called Robert’s Rules of Order as a sort of code of conduct. These rules create a way in which those representatives can conduct a limited degree of decision-making, primarily geared towards achieving a quorum, so as to be able to make more concrete decisions. These, in essence, are four Roberts Rules of Order.

  1. The scheduling of the next meeting, to attempt to create a quorum.
  2. Members of the meeting can adjourn the meeting.
  3. Individual members can call for simple breaks, recess during the meetings.
  4. Finally and most importantly, members can create a ‘special committee’ tasked with calling or gathering absent members. 

As outlined, Roberts Rules of order mainly gear towards simple board room meeting function but also have been further used. They theoretically prevent a minority of board members from effectively dictating terms to the majority, by limiting the available decision-making potential. Beyond this, it forces all available decision-making to benefit the creation of a majority-led decision-making business strategy.

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