Compliance with Corporate Governance Best Practice. The Perspective of Ownership Structure
The article examines compliance with corporate governance best practice in the post transition economy addressing the heterogeneity of interests of different shareholders. On the basis of the agency theory, we suggest that in the concentrated ownership environment the principal-principal conflict results in lower compliance with the corporate governance code. More specifically, since compliance with best practice requires introducing independent directors and in that sense shifts control from shareholders to the board, we hypothesize that companies characterized by concentrated ownership and the dominant position of the founder/individual investor are reluctant to comply with board governance best practice. To evaluate our hypotheses, we explore compliance with board governance best practice with respect to the presence of independent directors, formation of an audit committee and other specialized board committees (remuneration, risk, strategy). We test the link between the compliance with the code and the ownership structure. Our analysis supports the principal-principal conflict argument and shows that companies with concentrated ownership and founder control do not comply with the board governance best practice. We believe this article contributes to the existing literature twofold. Firstly, we identify the patterns of corporate governance best practice implementation in the post socialist, post transition, emerging economy and depict the dynamics of the compliance with the code guidelines. Secondly, we show that the principal-principal conflict addresses the compliance policy of listed companies and results in various approaches to corporate governance conformity. (original abstract)
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