Can Corporate Governance be standardized? A comparative study of South Africa and Sweden Corporate Governance codes based on multiple case studies. (A case study of Nedbank and Nordea Bank)
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Stakeholder’s levels of trust and confidence in a company’s operational efficiency and leadership have been influenced negatively by some scandals in the last two decades. This creates a need for governance and transparency, through which corporate governance and social responsibility issues can get more attention from researchers, business and governmental and non-governmental bodies. Corporate governance and corporate social responsibility have also developed to a greater extent in the last decade because of financial crises, corporate scandals and globalization. More specifically, since the early 1990s, corporate governance has received the global attention and consideration in business organizations, financial institutions and governmental agencies required to potentially secure shareholder and stakeholder value. Furthermore, the need for corporate governance has become more important for operational efficiency as it could reduce information asymmetry and build investors’ and stakeholders’ confidence. The main aim of this thesis is to determine if corporate governance codes could be standardized based on a comparative study of two corporate governance codes in South Africa and Sweden and their application in the financial institutions of Nedbank and Nordea respectively. This thesis investigates how corporate governance influences business activities and reporting with an emphasis on assessing integrated reporting of social responsibility. This thesis also describes how Governance Metrics (GMI) attributes can measure the effective implementation of corporate governance codes that contribute to the achievement of sustainable business development and the maintenance of a secured relationship with shareholders and stakeholders.
The findings of this thesis indicate that it is difficult to reach an agreement and we conclude that corporate governance should not be standardized because countries differ in their legal structure (laws and governing regulations), cultural and traditional background. Consequently, companies that operate within these countries are required to comply with the respective country’s laws, regulations and values; besides the corporate governance codes. As to stakeholder’s engagement, both Nedbank and Nordea have steady corporate values with clear focus on stakeholder value by providing the best services and social responsibility activities. The Nedbank and Nordea Board of Directors have shown greater accountability in the management of risk and their compliance with corporate governance codes regarding the Governance Metrics (GMI) attributes. To summarize, the managerial implication of the thesis is that companies within the same line of industry should see and use corporate governance code practices and reporting standards and adopt some of the codes, which can fit their own context.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 53 p.
Corporate governance, Integrated report, Accountability, Sustainability, Internal control
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-35278OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-35278DiVA: diva2:790991
Subject / course
Master Programme in Accounting and Control: Master (120 ECTS credits)
2014-01-21, 11 A223, Karlstad Business School, Karlstad, 08:00 (English)
Sebhatu, Samuel Petros, PhD
Sverbo, Sven, Professor