Codes of Good Governance
13 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2011 Last revised: 25 Jan 2013
Date Written: February 28, 2011
Our review of the literature on codes of good governance highlights the rapid spread of codes of good governance around the world and how academic research has lagged behind in analyzing this topic. Despite the criticism that the codes’ voluntary nature limits their ability to improve governance practices, codes of good governance appear to have generally improved the governance of countries that have adopted them, although there is need for additional reforms.
Unfortunately, research on codes of good governance has been studied in silos with little cross-fertilization across the different disciplines. We propose a multi-level framework to discuss three main topics that have emerged within the codes literature: the motivations behind the diffusion of codes across countries and its implications for convergence of corporate governance practices; the content of the code and its “comply or explain” dimension; and the relationship between code compliance and firm performance.
We conclude by proposing four areas of future research. Code development, adoption, and compliance are directly related to issues surrounding the governance of the firm, and in particular to all the interactions that a director has inside and outside the firm. Codes are regulations that emerge from policy-making negotiations between the different stakeholders, such as the state (via the stock market regulators) and the investors.
Keywords: codes, goveranance, codes of good governance, international
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