Accountants’ perceptions of corporate governance in public limited liability companies in an emerging economy: Evidence from Barbados

Philmore Alleyne (Department of Management Studies, University of the West Indies, Bridgetown, Barbados)
Diana Weekes-Marshall (Department of Management Studies, University of the West Indies, Bridgetown, Barbados)
Tracey Broome (Department of Management Studies, University of the West Indies, Bridgetown, Barbados)

Meditari Accountancy Research

ISSN: 2049-372X

Publication date: 11 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the perceptions of accountants on corporate governance (CG) practices in public limited liability companies in Barbados, and the perceived effectiveness of these mechanisms.

Design/methodology/approach

A three-stage approach was utilized. First, an Internet-based questionnaire was sent to members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados to gain accounting perspectives on CG practices by listed Barbadian companies. Second, feedback on the survey results was obtained from the attendees of a panel session at a regional accounting conference. Third, interviews were conducted with five qualified accountants to further explore issues that emerged from the previous stages.

Findings

The results suggest that the most important mechanisms for effective CG were the board of directors, auditors and professional accountants. The timely provision of relevant information, board room culture, qualifications and independence of directors were the tasks considered most vital to enhancing board effectiveness. However, the high concentration of ownership in family-controlled firms, interlocking directorates, weak regulatory systems and cultural issues influenced the effectiveness of CG mechanisms. Recommendations for overcoming these barriers and improving CG included purposive training, whistle-blowing mechanisms, stronger legislation and adequate disclosures.

Research limitations/implications

The study’s small sample increases the likelihood of bias and important differences being missed, thus reducing the generalizability to the accounting profession as a whole.

Practical implications

The research sheds light on the value being placed on CG practices by the accounting profession. The study would assist companies, board of directors and accounting practitioners in developing CG mechanisms that are suitable for emerging countries.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the dearth of literature on perceptions of accountants on CG practices in emerging economies.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the Editor and three anonymous referees for their insightful comments.

Citation

Alleyne, P., Weekes-Marshall, D. and Broome, T. (2014), "Accountants’ perceptions of corporate governance in public limited liability companies in an emerging economy: Evidence from Barbados", Meditari Accountancy Research, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 186-210. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEDAR-09-2013-0039

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below

You may be able to access this content by logging in via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.
If you think you should have access to this content, click the button to contact our support team.