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AN ANALYSIS OF THE CORPORATE GOVERNANCE PRACTICES OF SMALLER LISTED AUSTRALIAN COMPANIES

Kevin Plastow, Gerry Gallery, Natalie Gallery

DOI: 10.22495/cocv10i1c2art4

Abstract

We examine the corporate governance environment of smaller listed Australian firms to investigate the factors that determine how firms respond to recommendations contained in corporate governance codes. We group corporate governance recommendations into three distinct categories and argue that differences in adoption costs between categories, together with firm specific factors, determine a firm’s decision to conform with the recommendation or to explain the reasons for non-conformance. Analysis of the conformance by smaller firms with governance recommendations highlights substantial differences in adoption rates between categories of recommendations. Our results also reveal that the cost of adopting specific recommendations, together with profitability, external audit quality, and ownership dispersion, jointly explain a firm’s decision to ‘comply or explain’. This study provides insights for policy makers and regulators regarding the appropriateness of corporate governance recommendations for smaller firms.

Keywords: Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance Codes, Corporate Governance Index, Agency Theory

How to cite this paper: Plastow, K., Gallery, G., & Gallery, N. (2012). An analysis of the corporate governance practices of smaller listed Australian companies. Corporate Ownership & Control, 10(1-2), 233-253. http://doi.org/10.22495/cocv10i1c2art4

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