Original Research

The effect of industry nuances on the relationship between corporate governance and financial performance: Evidence from South African listed companies

Jonty Tshipa, Leon M. Brummer, Hendrik Wolmarans, Elda du Toit
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 21, No 1 | a1964 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v21i1.1964 | © 2018 Jonty Tshipa, Leon M. Brummer, Hendrik Wolmarans, Elda Du Toit | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 June 2017 | Published: 18 April 2018

About the author(s)

Jonty Tshipa, Department of Financial Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Leon M. Brummer, Department of Financial Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Hendrik Wolmarans, Department of Financial Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Elda du Toit, Department of Financial Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Premised on agency, resource dependence and stewardship theories, the study investigates empirically the existence of industry nuances in the relationship between corporate governance and financial performance of companies listed in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

 

Aims: The main objective of the study is to understand the relationship between internal corporate governance and company performance from the perspective of three distinct economic periods, as well as industry nuances, cognisant of endogeneity issues.

 

Setting: South Africa, as an emerging African market, offers an interesting research context in which the corporate governance and financial performance nexus can be examined empirically.

 

Method: A sample of 90 companies from the five largest South African industries, covering a 13-year period from 2002 to 2014 (1170 firm-year observations) was examined with three estimation approaches.

 

Results: Two key trends emerged from this study. First, the relationship between corporate governance and company performance differed from industry to industry. Second, the association between corporate governance and company performance also changes during steady and non-steady periods, which is an indication that the nexus is driven by the state of the global economy and the type of the industry.

 

Conclusion: Evidence from the study suggests that companies should be allowed to optimise rather than maximise their corporate governance options. This finding questioned the approach of the recently published King IV Code of Good Corporate Governance, which requires Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed companies to ‘apply and explain’ as opposed to ‘apply or explain’ as pronounced by King III Code of Good Corporate Governance.


Keywords

industry; corporate governance; performance

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