Corporate governance in the wake of the financial crisis: comments on the changing role of independent directors in the corporate governance codes of Singapore and the United Kingdom

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Abstract

The financial crisis of 2008 has highlighted the importance of corporate governance to the economic fortunes of individual firms and entire economies or economic areas. This paper provides an account of why corporate governance has
come to be viewed by businesses and policy makers as an increasingly important determinant of economic performance. Organisations, such as the Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have made efforts to develop international minimum standards. Much of the reform agenda, both at the national and international levels, has been dominated by efforts to strengthen the role played by independent directors in corporate governance. The codes of Singapore and the United Kingdom are compared in an attempt to illustrate how each country has dealt with these issues. The analysis reveals that while the codes are very similar, there are small but interesting differences, particularly in relation to the treatment of director independence. The paper concludes that any attempt to impose a “one-size-fits-all” governance code is likely to fail as there is a need to allow for local variations in
practice that take account of differences in ownership and business culture in different parts of the world.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)2-16
Number of pages15
JournalSingapore Management Journal
Volume1
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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