Ethical Dimensions of Corporate Governance Practice in Ghana: Building a Theoretical Perspective
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Having dominated policy agenda in developed economies for well over three decades, corporate governance is now getting to the top of the policy agenda in developing countries (Abor and Adjasi, 2007). However, the issues of corporate governance have focused on the major shareholders and institutional shareholders of the organization while little or no attention has been paid to public sector and the private enterprises in developing countries. This has been ignored by the literature. This study investigates the ethical dimensions of corporate governance practice in Ghanaian public sector and private enterprises. It aims to understand the phenomena of governance practices in this context and examine its implications for good corporate governance systems in Ghana.
Using grounded theory methodology, data was collected from 28 semi structured interviews with board of directors and senior officials, and group discussion of 9 participants, mainly directors and officials involved with Ghanaian corporate governance system. The interviews were informed by the survey of governance practice. Through the constant comparative method of open coding of interviews, categories emerged which were subsumed into main categories during the axial coding. The paradigm model was used to establish the relationship among the categories. This formed the basis for the selective coding which identified the core category and its relationships with the sub-categories, verified to develop the substantive theory of corporate governance systems.
The study explored the relationship between culture relativism and universalism and the formal theory in terms of stakeholder theory and shareholder theory. The substantive theory identifies that corporate governance practice in the public sector and private enterprises is influenced by traditional cultural values which has implications for ethical business environment.
This study is the first attempt to combine corporate governance, grounded theory and national level culture in public sector and business enterprises, and to offer relevant recommendations for policy-makers. The substantive theory demonstrate that corporate governance systems are socially constructed and as such understanding the behaviour of board of directors is vital for understanding how corporate governance is practiced.. The study contributes to better understanding of governance practice in the public sector organisations and the informal sector
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