Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether there is a global divergence or convergence with regard to the ethics of corporate governance. Design/methodology/approach – Regional perspectives on the ethics of corporate governance from four regions, namely, Africa, Asia, Continental Europe and North America are first briefly introduced and characterized in terms of distinctions between the ethics of governance and the governance of ethics, internal and external corporate governance, and shareholder and stakeholder orientations to corporate governance. Thereafter these regional perspectives are compared in order to determine whether there is a global divergence or convergence with regard to the ethics of corporate governance amongst these four regions of the world. Findings – There are four factors that potentially may have an impact on the ethics of corporate governance, namely, patterns of ownership, the prevailing view of the role of the firm in a society, cultural and societal norms, and socio‐political priorities. The influence of these factors makes a global convergence on the ethics of corporate governance neither likely nor desirable. Research limitations/implications – Not all regions of the world were included in this comparative study. Regions that need to be included in future studies are Latin America, Central Asia and the Middle East. Practical implications – The main finding, namely, that a global convergence on the ethics of corporate governance is neither likely nor desirable, should be taken into consideration by promoters of global corporate governance standards. Originality/value – Based on regional perspectives from Africa, Asia, Continental Europe and North America, the paper provides a global perspective on the question of whether there is global divergence or convergence with regard to the ethics of corporate governance amongst these four regions of the world.
International Journal of Law and Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 30, 2009
Keywords: Corporate governance; Business ethics; Africa; Asia; Europe; North America
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