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Neither Principles Nor Rules: Making Corporate Governance Work in Sub-Saharan Africa

Nakpodia, Franklin; Adegbite, Emmanuel; Amaeshi, Kenneth; Owolabi, Akintola


Franklin Nakpodia

Professor in Accounting Andcorporate Governance

Kenneth Amaeshi

Akintola Owolabi


Corporate governance is often split between rule-based and principle-based approaches to regulation in different institutional contexts. This split is often informed by the types of institutional configurations, their strengths, and the complementarities within them. This approach to corporate governance regulation is mostly discussed in the context of developed economies and their regulatory demands. However, in developing and weak market economies, such as in Sub-Saharan Africa, there is no such explicit split and the debates on such contexts in the comparative corporate governance literature have been meagre. Nonetheless, there are sparks of good corporate governance practices in the region. Drawing from institutional theory and a case study of a largest economy, we explore the appropriateness or suitability of corporate governance regulatory frameworks in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our findings suggest that Nigeria needs an integrated system that combines elements of both rule-based and principle-based regulation, supported by a multi-stakeholder co-regulation strategy. This paper departs from the mainstream rule-based and principle-based categorisations by forging ahead new perspectives on corporate governance regulation, especially in weak market economies.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2018-08
Journal Journal of Business Ethics
Print ISSN 0167-4544
Electronic ISSN 1573-0697
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 151
Issue 2
Pages 391-408
APA6 Citation Nakpodia, F., Adegbite, E., Amaeshi, K., & Owolabi, A. (2018). Neither Principles Nor Rules: Making Corporate Governance Work in Sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of Business Ethics, 151(2), 391-408.
Keywords Corporate governance Sub-Saharan Africa (Nigeria) Principles-based Rule-based Co-regulation Institutional theory Culture
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