The purpose of this paper was to determine to what extent Hong Kong’s experience proves (or disproves) theories from corporate governance in the areas of family ownership, concentration, self-dealing in Hong, executive compensation and other issues. This paper – written in the comparative corporate governance tradition – uses data from Hong Kong to discuss wider trends and issues in the corporate governance literature.
The authors use the comparative corporate governance approach – exposing a range of corporate governance theories to the light of Hong Kong data. The authors purposely avoid over-theorising – leaving the data to speak for themselves for other researchers interested in such theorising.
The authors find that Hong Kong presents corporate challenges that are unique among upper-income jurisdictions – in terms of potentially harmful (shareholder value diminishing) family relationships, shareholder concentration and self-dealing by insiders. The authors also show that excessive executive compensation, accounting and audit weaknesses do not pose the same kinds of problems they do in other countries. The authors provide numerous comments on theoretical papers throughout the presentation in this paper.
The authors chose a relatively unused research approach that eschews theory building – instead, the authors use data from a range of sectors to build an overall picture of corporate governance in Hong Kong. The authors subsequently affirm or critique the theories of others in this paper.
The original analysis conducted by the authors provided 22 recommendations for revising listing rules for Hong Kong’s stock exchange. Others – particularly Asian officials – should consider Hong Kong’s experience when revising their own corporate governance listing rules and regulations.
This paper offers new and original insights in four directions. First, the authors use the empiricist’s method – presenting data from a wide range of corporate governance areas to comment on and critique existing studies. Second, the authors provide a system-wide view of corporate governance – showing how different parts of corporate governance rules work together using concrete data. Third, the authors provide a new study in the comparative corporate governance tradition – another brick in the wall that is “normal scientific progress”. Fourth, the authors pose tentative resolutions to highly debated questions in corporate governance for the specific time and place of Hong Kong in the early 2010s.
Michael, B. and Goo, S.H. (2015), "Corporate governance and its reform in Hong Kong: a study in comparative corporate governance", Corporate Governance, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 444-475. https://doi.org/10.1108/CG-09-2013-0109
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