This thesis investigates the phenomena that underlie corporate governance practices in the Nigerian banking sector (NBS); the purpose is to understand the nature of corporate governance and the factors influencing it. It offers a response to a number of concerns raised about the effectiveness of banks’ corporate governance practices, especially before the consolidation reform and during the 2007-2009 global financial crisis. Culture and leadership are identified as providing the most suitable theoretical framework for this study, and through grounded theory (GT), an empirical study is undertaken to identify the nature of corporate governance practices in banks, the factors that influence such practices and the outcomes of this influence. The GT methodology is used in the following ways: First, a comparative analysis is performed in the open coding stage, based on first and second series of semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions conducted with the executive managers of the 24 quoted banks in Nigeria, officials from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), representatives of the Nigerian Deposit and Insurance Corporation (NDIC), and other stakeholders. The open coding leads to the development of eight open categories, their properties and dimensions based on the responses garnered from the interviews and focus groups. Second, through axial coding, the identified open categories are subsumed into higher categories, and the relationships among these categories are established by means of the paradigm model. The paradigm model provides the basis for the development of a substantive GT. Third, through the selective coding process, based on a third series of semi-structured interviews that identify human action and a lack of leadership as core categories, relationships with other sub-categories are verified, which eventually leads to the presentation of the substantive theory of corporate governance for banks. This theory perceives corporate governance practice in banks to be affected by human actions and a lack of leadership. This substantive theory is then explored in relation to the formal theories of culture and leadership; this offers an understanding of the corporate governance of banks in Nigeria and explains the relevance of the formal theories more clearly. Furthermore, the idea of the social contract in relation to cooperation and trust is presented as a tool with which to address free-rider issues. The use of GT is extended to explore the phenomena underlying corporate governance in the given context, providing a better understanding of the influence of culture and leadership in corporate governance theorising. Finally, this thesis is the first attempt to combine the GT methodology, corporate governance and the theories of culture and leadership, and to offer insight into how to address the identified issues using the social contract strategy through trust and cooperation, making it a useful guide on corporate governance for banks.

Document Type


Publication Date