Good corporate governance standards provide significant benefits such as openness, accountability, and strategic planning, which are critical for most operational institutions to improve decision-making.
However, most accessible codes are either not developed locally to meet local concerns, or are not followed to the letter, limiting their positive impact.
This was established during a research seminar presentation titled, ‘Do Corporate Governance Codes Matter in Africa,’ to Karen faculty members drawn from Business and Social Science Department at Karen Campus, Thursday, August 24, 2023.
According to Dr. Danson Kimani, an Associate Professor in Business and Accounting, School of Business and Society at the University of York (England), some African countries that have existing corporate governance codes continue to exhibit weak corporate accountability and governance practices.
“This led to a critical study based on a thorough examination of academic publications and current codes in the various African contexts. Our findings show that the effectiveness of many codes is still quite restricted in terms of practical results. Countries that have adopted codes are still dealing with inconsistent performance and weak accountability,” stated Dr. Kimani who was the main speaker during the seminar.
The main objective of the presentation was to sensitize staff and shed light on the significance of higher education institutions in creating and shaping public policy through research.
He stated that research is the way forward for African countries, and in this context, Kenya, to ensure sustainability and transparency programs are integrated in governance code reforms, resulting in changes in business and management.
Even with available research to change the direction of governance codes, the associate professor emphasized the importance of African-led re-thinking of existing codes in order to make them more aligned with the governance needs of African firms and their complex sociocultural background.
“Locally driven initiatives can promote significant change and enhance business decision-making processes, but this depends on the availability of locally led studies that are based on resolving local problems. This is the way forward to promote changes to governance laws that do not presuppose knowledge of the local context and support local accountability,” Dr. Kimani observed.
Dr. Tobias Olweny, Chairman of the Department of Business and Social Science, stated that corporate governance standards are critical in ensuring firm and institution managements are held accountable through the decision-making processes.
“This event will benefit business management researchers by providing them with a better understanding of the country’s corporate governance legislation,” Dr. Olweny stated.
He appreciated Dr. Kimani for his presentation, noting that the information he shared would be valuable in fine-tuning their teaching, particularly on the present corporate governance landscape.
The presentation was also addressed virtually by Prof. Teeroven Soobaryen from the University of Essex, United Kingdom.