Corporate Governance and Accountability in Arabian Gulf Countries
: The Case of Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain

  • Ahmed Almoneef

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Corporate governance has recently attracted a great deal of attention from academic researchers and become an important topic around the world and within emerging markets especially with respect to the accountability of companies. Thus, this thesis investigates current corporate governance practices in three Arabian Gulf countries namely: Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain to see whether there is any discharge of lateral and hierarchical accountability and Islamic accountability especially with regard to Shura (consultation and discussion) and Hisba (verification). The thesis also investigates other characteristics that may affect whether companies discharge hierarchical accountability. For this purpose, two pieces of empirical work are employed: (i) semi- structured interviews; and (ii) a corporate governance disclosure index. The interviews were held with 24 stakeholders across the three countries to elicit their views regarding corporate governance practices and whether they discharge lateral and hierarchical accountability as well as Shura and Hisba. The second empirical work uses a corporate governance disclosure index to examine whether any of the three countries discharge more hierarchical accountability than the others, and also examines the impact of certain characteristics on companies’ corporate governance disclosure representing hierarchical accountability. The main findings indicate that Islam does not conflict with corporate governance practices but could instead be used to strengthen them. In addition, Bahraini companies discharge more lateral and hierarchical accountability as well as Shura and Hisba from adopting better corporate governance practices. Moreover, Bahraini companies discharge more hierarchical accountability by disclosing more corporate governance items in their annual reports compared to Saudi and Omani companies. In addition, companies with larger board and working in the Banking sector discharge more hierarchical accountability.
    Date of Award2014
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorChristine Helliar (Supervisor) & Alison Fordyce (Supervisor)

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