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Corporate Governance Reforms in the Post-1997 Asian Crisis: Is There Really a Convergence to the Anglo-American Model?


  • Choon Yin Sam


Following the 1997-Asian crisis, a number of crisis-hit countries were committed to the rapid transformation of the corporate governance system to one that is modeled after the Anglo-American system. This, as the article argues, is based on a false premise, that what may have worked in the United States/United Kingdom can also be applied in East Asia. In this regard, the convergence at the firm level is seen to be more in “form” rather than in “substance”. This study assesses Singapore's corporate system in terms of its recognition of the merits of the Western model. It then details the corporate governance style of Temasek Holdings Limited (THL), a state- owned enterprise (SOE) in charge of monitoring government investments in companies. The choice of THL as a case study is based on the premise that THL operates very much like a private sector corporation. In addition, it has the ability to influence the standard of corporate governance of Singaporean SOEs. Because the SOEs are large players in their respective industries, the corporate governance of SOEs establish the standards and expectations for monitoring in non-SOEs. There are indications to suggest that the THL has taken into consideration certain aspects of corporate governance practices that may not necessarily be in line with those advocated by the Singapore government. The article argues that selective adaptation such as the style adopted in the THL more realistically portrays the corporate governance practices of East Asian corporations.

Suggested Citation

  • Choon Yin Sam, 2007. "Corporate Governance Reforms in the Post-1997 Asian Crisis: Is There Really a Convergence to the Anglo-American Model?," Global Economic Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(3), pages 267-285.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:glecrv:v:36:y:2007:i:3:p:267-285
    DOI: 10.1080/12265080701562008

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