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Rationality, traditionalism and the state of corporate governance mechanisms: Illustrations from a less-developed country


  • Shahzad Uddin
  • Jamal Choudhury


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to provide an account of corporate governance practices in Bangladesh. This paper demonstrates that the traditionalist culture mediates the rationalist/legalist framework of corporate governance in Bangladesh. Design/methodology/approach - A series of semi-structured interviews were conducted. Observations and the personal working experience of one of the researchers, along with documentation, provided rich sources of information for the paper. Findings - The findings show that families have a dominant presence in all aspects of corporate governance. Boards of directors in companies play a significant part in serving the interests of families rather than those of general shareholders. Research limitations/implications - This study focuses on corporate governance practices in a traditional setting and shows how traditional culture and values are in conflict with the rational ideas imported from a different setting. Originality/value - The paper adds to the literature on corporate governance, especially in the context of less-developed countries. It will be of great value to researchers and practitioners seeking to gain a better understanding of corporate governance frameworks in various settings.

Suggested Citation

  • Shahzad Uddin & Jamal Choudhury, 2008. "Rationality, traditionalism and the state of corporate governance mechanisms: Illustrations from a less-developed country," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 21(7), pages 1026-1051, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:aaajpp:v:21:y:2008:i:7:p:1026-1051

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    Cited by:

    1. Jaime Guerrero-Villegas & Leticia Pérez-Calero & José Manuel Hurtado-González & Pilar Giráldez-Puig, 2018. "Board Attributes and Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure: A Meta-Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(12), pages 1-1, December.
    2. Muttakin, Mohammad Badrul & Khan, Arifur & Belal, Ataur Rahman, 2015. "Intellectual capital disclosures and corporate governance: An empirical examination," Advances in accounting, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 219-227.
    3. Khan, Habib Zaman & Bose, Sudipta & Johns, Raechel, 2020. "Regulatory influences on CSR practices within banks in an emerging economy: Do banks merely comply?," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    4. Pallab Kumar Biswas & Swapan Kumar Bala, 2016. "Usefulness of corporate annual reports to individual investors in Bangladesh," International Journal of Disclosure and Governance, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 13(2), pages 97-116, May.
    5. Niamh M. Brennan & Jill Solomon, 2008. "Corporate governance, accountability and mechanisms of accountability: an overview," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 21(7), pages 885-906, September.
    6. Muttakin, Mohammad Badrul & Khan, Arifur, 2014. "Determinants of corporate social disclosure: Empirical evidence from Bangladesh," Advances in accounting, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 168-175.
    7. Mohamad-Yusof, Nor Zalina & Wickramasinghe, Danture & Zaman, Mahbub, 2018. "Corporate governance, critical junctures and ethnic politics: Ownership and boards in Malaysia," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 33-52.
    8. Naeem Tabassum & Satwinder Singh, 2020. "Corporate Governance and Organisational Performance," Springer Books, Springer, number 978-3-030-48527-6, December.
    9. Yusuf, Fatima & Yousaf, Amna & Saeed, Abubakr, 2018. "Rethinking agency theory in developing countries: A case study of Pakistan," Accounting forum, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 281-292.
    10. Md. Harun Ur Rashid & Shah Asadullah Mohd. Zobair & Md. Asad Iqbal Chowdhury & Azharul Islam, 2020. "Corporate governance and banks’ productivity: evidence from the banking industry in Bangladesh," Business Research, Springer;German Academic Association for Business Research, vol. 13(2), pages 615-637, July.
    11. Enrico Fontana & Niklas Egels-Zandén, 2019. "Non Sibi, Sed Omnibus: Influence of Supplier Collective Behaviour on Corporate Social Responsibility in the Bangladeshi Apparel Supply Chain," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 159(4), pages 1047-1064, November.
    12. Showkat Ahmad Busru & G. Shanmugasundaram & Shariq Ahmad Bhat, 2020. "Corporate Governance an Imperative for Stakeholders Protection: Evidence from Risk Management of Indian Listed Firms," Business Perspectives and Research, , vol. 8(2), pages 89-116, July.
    13. Chune Young Chung & Sang Jun Cho & Doojin Ryu & Doowon Ryu, 2019. "Institutional blockholders and corporate social responsibility," Asian Business & Management, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 18(3), pages 143-186, July.
    14. Hang Thi Thuy Pham & Sung-Chang Jung & Su-Yol Lee, 2020. "Governmental Ownership of Voluntary Sustainability Information Disclosure in an Emerging Economy: Evidence from Vietnam," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(16), pages 1-1, August.
    15. Shahzad Uddin & Javed Siddiqui & Muhammad Azizul Islam, 2018. "Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosures, Traditionalism and Politics: A Story from a Traditional Setting," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 151(2), pages 409-428, August.
    16. Mia Rahim & Shawkat Alam, 2014. "Convergence of Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance in Weak Economies: The case of Bangladesh," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 121(4), pages 607-620, June.
    17. Mohammad Badrul Muttakin & Arifur Khan & Dessalegn Getie Mihret, 2018. "The Effect of Board Capital and CEO Power on Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosures," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 41-56, June.
    18. Mohammad Nurunnabi & Monirul Alam Hossain & Saad A. Al-Mosa, 2016. "Ceci n'est pas une pipe! Corporate Governance practices under two political regimes in Bangladesh: A political economy perspective," International Journal of Disclosure and Governance, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 13(4), pages 329-363, November.
    19. Brian Shapiro, 2016. "Using Traditional Narratives and Other Narrative Devices to Enact Humanizing Business Practices," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 139(1), pages 1-19, November.
    20. Aila VIRTANEN & Tuomo TAKALA 1University of Jyväskylä, School of Business and Economics, University of Jyväskylä,, 2016. "Accountability Of Corporate Boards In Finland," Management Research and Practice, Research Centre in Public Administration and Public Services, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 8(1), pages 5-24, March.


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