Stakeholder Perspectives on Corporate Governance and Owners in the Saudi Arabian Stock Market

  • Omar A. Alhassoon

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Due to the recent financial crisis and the failure of corporations around the world, calls for an effective corporate governance system have increased. Countries worldwide have issued codes of corporate governance over the last two decades. This has led to the emergence of a number of different models of corporate governance around the world. These models afford differing levels of protection to stakeholders. These in turn have led to, for example, shareholder-oriented and stakeholder-oriented systems of corporate governance. There are factors affecting any system of corporate governance and impacting on the level of protection of stakeholders, as well as, on the level stakeholder engagement. These factors are related to firm levels such as ownership structure or country characteristics such as the legal system.

    The purpose of this study is to investigate the perceptions of different stakeholder groups with regard to corporate governance practices of firms listed on the Saudi stock market. This includes an analysis of factors affecting current systems of corporate governance in the Saudi capital market, as well as, the level of stakeholder engagement in governance mechanisms of listed firms. The study adopts a qualitative approach in order to provide empirical evidence. This includes 49 semi-structured interviews and a case study analysis of practices at a listed firm.

    The findings of the analysis of the semi-structured interviews, board reports and attendance at four Annual General Meetings (AGMs) generates related information on the phenomena. The results indicate that the level of stakeholder engagement is weak. Also, listed firms view the corporate governance concept as a legal requirement only, rather than seeing it as a beneficial choice. In addition, the level of protection of stakeholders is weak and this is reflected in the recent bankruptcy and failure of three listed firms and limitations on IPOs. Also, the findings indicate that governance practices, transparency and disclosure levels need improvement and need to be related to the business model of each listed firm rather than standardising these levels among listed firms from different sectors.
    Date of Award2015
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorTheresa Dunne (Supervisor) & Lissa Monk (Supervisor)

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