Adoption of Anglo-american Models of Corporate Governance and Financial Reporting in China: Volume 29

Cover of Adoption of Anglo-american Models of Corporate Governance and Financial Reporting in China

Table of contents

(17 chapters)
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Abstract

Pages xiii-xiv
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Introduction

Pages 1-16
Abstract

Forces of globalization have driven international convergence in corporate governance and accounting considerably over the past few decades. Nevertheless, despite the global trend, convergence of corporate governance and financial reporting remains a subject of debate. This research monograph critically examines whether China’s convergence with Anglo-American corporate governance principles and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is likely to produce the expected outcomes of improving the transparency and comparability of accounting information in Chinese firms. In this chapter, we discuss the motivation for and the significance of the study; describe the issues associated with the adoption of internationally acceptable standards and principles in China; explain the theoretical framework used to inform the study and research methodology; and present the aim and objectives of the monograph.

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Abstract

This chapter examines corporate governance–related financial reporting issues in the context of globalization. Over the past few decades, the process of globalization has substantially altered the fields of corporate governance and accounting. More specifically, Anglo-American models of corporate governance and financial reporting have received increasing momentum in emerging economies, including China. However, a review of relevant studies suggests that there is limited research examining the implementation of Anglo-American concepts in various countries regardless of their growing acceptance. This monograph extends the existing literature by comprehensively investigating the adoption of internationally acceptable principles and standards in China, the largest transitional economy that has different institutional context from Anglo-American countries. In addition, the review has a number of implications for developing the theoretical framework, and determining the research methodology for the monograph.

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This chapter examines the development of accounting thought and practices in China with the purpose of illustrating its relevance to current accounting policies and practices. The review indicates that changes in accounting in China did not usually occur completely and easily. Over the past three decades, while Chinese accounting has gradually moved toward the Anglo-American model, convergence has presented unique features in China. For example, the review suggests that the accounting reforms in China have been heavily government-driven and that uniform accounting systems still remain. Chinese regulators maintain a cautious attitude toward the application of fair value and professional judgment, which are essentially the center of the Anglo-American accounting system. Furthermore, Chinese accounting regulators have a different view of business combinations from the IASB and have developed alternative accounting methods for those transactions. China’s departure from IFRS reflects its politico-economic context and essentially challenges the IASB’s goal of achieving international accounting convergence. China’s approach to internationally acceptable practices is likely to have implications for the effectiveness of the imported ideas.

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This chapter develops the theoretical framework used to inform the study, which is based largely on neoinstitutional theory. This monograph recognizes that a holistic perspective and richer insights are needed when examining complex issues associated with the adoption of internationally acceptable practices. The proposed theoretical framework incorporates international influences, domestic influences, and intraorganizational dynamics. In the context of globalization, China’s convergence with internationally acceptable principles and standards is largely shaped by international forces, including supranational organizations, foreign investors, and international accounting firms. Furthermore, in order to examine the operation of those imported ideas, it is essential to consider China’s contextual setting, which comprises the political system, economic system, legal system, social and cultural system, and accounting infrastructure. In addition, the convergence process is also influenced by interaction among organizational players who may actively mobilize their power to preserve the status quo and protect their power and interests. The outcome and the process of loose coupling deeply intertwine with and reflect upon international influences, domestic influences, and intraorganizational dynamics.

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Research Design

Pages 97-115
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This chapter explains the research design. An interpretive methodology was considered most suitable for the study. Informed by an institutional framework, the interpretive methodology was selected for this monograph for its strengths of focusing on the research context, interactive processes, and meanings that are not measurable by quantitative approach. The interpretive methodology is also consistent with the ontological and epistemological positions of the researchers. Data were collected from interviewing four groups of key persons and a document survey. The data triangulation and multiple perspectives helped increase the reliability and validity of the study. Also, conducting data collection in a natural setting produced a rich data source. This enabled the provision of an enhanced understanding of the operation and effectiveness of corporate governance and financial reporting practice in a real setting. In addition, the systematic set of data analysis procedures helped improve research rigor and develop conceptual and theoretical understanding of issues of interest.

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This chapter examines China’s corporate governance and accounting environment that shapes the adoption of internationally acceptable principles and standards. Specifically, it examines international influences, including supranational organizations; foreign investors and international accounting firms; domestic institutional influences, including the political system, economic system, legal system, and cultural system; and accounting infrastructure. China’s convergence is driven by desired efficiency of the corporate sector and legitimacy of participating in the global market. Influenced heavily by international forces in the context of globalization, corporate governance and accounting practices are increasingly becoming in line with internationally acceptable standards and codes. While convergence assists China in obtaining legitimacy, improving efficiency is likely to be adversely affected given that corporate governance and accounting in China operate in an environment that differs considerably from those of Anglo-American countries. An examination of the corporate governance and accounting environment in China suggests heavy government involvement within underdeveloped institutions. While the Chinese government has made impressive progress in developing the corporate governance and accounting environment for the market economy, China’s unique institutional setting is likely to affect how the imported concepts are interpreted and implemented.

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This chapter analyzes and discusses the empirical results of the study. The discussion is organized under the following themes: independent director, audit committee, auditor independence, corporate code of conduct, adoption of IFRS, and measures for improvement. Three main findings emerge from the analysis. First, the current institutional environment does not yet fully support the Anglo-American practices. Second, in recent years the quality of financial reporting has improved considerably, which is largely attributable to strengthened accounting rules and regulations. However, the imported Anglo-American models of corporate governance and financial reporting, except for enhancing auditor independence, have had only a minor impact on financial reporting quality. Third, although the imported practices are not working as intended, the vast majority of interviewees stated that it was appropriate to move toward internationally acceptable principles and standards. Improving laws and regulations seems to be the main measure for rendering the institutional environment in China more supportive of Anglo-American models of corporate governance and financial reporting.

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This chapter concludes the monograph. It summarizes the findings and contributions of the study, acknowledges the limitations of the study, and provides suggestions for further research.

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References

Pages 229-255
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Cover of Adoption of Anglo-american Models of Corporate Governance and Financial Reporting in China
DOI
10.1108/S1479-3512201529
Publication date
2015-01-07
Book series
Studies in Managerial and Financial Accounting
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78350-898-3
eISBN
978-1-78350-897-6
Book series ISSN
1479-3512