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Ownership structure and audit committee effectiveness: evidence from top GCC capitalized firms

Mahfoudh Abdulkarem Al-Musali (Department of Accounting, Hadhramout University, Mukalla, Yemen)
Mohammed Helmi Qeshta (Department of Accounting and Finance, Applied Science University,Amman, Jordan)
Mohamed Ali Al-Attafi (Department of Finance, Hodeidah University,Hodeidah, Yemen)
Abood Mohammad Al-Ebel (Department of Accounting, Hadhramout University, Mukalla, Yemen)



The purpose of this study is to report on the level of audit committee (AC) effectiveness on the top capitalized firms in GCC countries and to empirically investigate the hypothesized influence of ownership types on the level of AC effectiveness.


The empirical data were drawn from annual reports of 119 top listed firms in Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) nations at the end of 2011. Ordinary least squares regression analysis was constructed to examine the relationships between ownership types and the level of AC effectiveness.


The findings revealed that family, government and institutional ownership, in addition to board independence, all have significant positive association with AC effectiveness, and they serve as a complement to AC effectiveness.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of the study are important for policy makers and regulators as they could use them to understand the relationship between different corporate governance mechanisms and formulating best strategies that would help them to improve and adopt an optimal governance system constituted from interacting governance mechanisms.


This study is one of few that have examined the interaction between different corporate governance mechanisms. It provides insights about the relationship between AC effectiveness and other governance mechanisms in the GCC context.



Al-Musali, M.A., Qeshta, M.H., Al-Attafi, M.A. and Al-Ebel, A.M. (2019), "Ownership structure and audit committee effectiveness: evidence from top GCC capitalized firms", International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 407-425.



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