Title: Drivers of convergence/divergence of corporate governance codes of MENA countries

Authors: Ali Uyar; Hany Elbardan; Ahmed Yamen

Addresses: La Rochelle Business School, Excelia Group, 102 rue de Coureilles – Les Minimes, 17024 La Rochelle, France ' Bournemouth Business School, Bournemouth University, UK; Faculty of Commerce, Alexandria University, Egypt ' Faculty of Commerce, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt; American university of the Middle East, Egila, Kuwait

Abstract: This study aims to fill an existing gap in the regional corporate governance research by investigating the extent of and the drivers behind the convergence/divergence of the corporate governance codes among Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries comparing to the globally known Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) principles of corporate governance. The results of the study revealed that the convergence level of the codes among the countries and compared to OECD principles significantly varies among countries, ranging from 31% to 73%. The results show that the adopted governance principles in the codes are 'decoupled' from legitimation concerns and focus on efficiency goals. The macroeconomic factors of MENA countries do not consistently reflect the convergence score of the codes with the OECD principles. The institutional quality factors of MENA countries are not aligned with their codes. The study provides several important implications for regulators, firms and other stakeholders.

Keywords: corporate governance codes; convergence/divergence; institutional theory; MENA countries.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBGE.2019.099367

International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 2019 Vol.13 No.3, pp.217 - 243

Received: 13 Nov 2017
Accepted: 04 Nov 2018

Published online: 22 Apr 2019 *

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