Your Governance or Mine?

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Journal Article
Australian Accounting Review, 2011, 21 (4), pp. 406 - 417
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In response to criticism directed at the resource sector's corporate governance, this paper examines the corporate governance and underlying firm characteristics of resource development stage entities (DSEs) relative to a size-matched sample of non-resource firms. We find that resource DSEs have different governance characteristics in the measures of board independence, chair/CEO duality and CEO cash bonuses. Furthermore, there are differences in the information environment measures of analyst following, debt levels, stock market return and stock turnover. Considering we document substantial differences in underlying firm characteristics, corporate governance differences are likely appropriate to the mining industry and should not be uniformly labelled as 'bad'. Our results suggest that media rankings based on corporate governance scores may not accurately portray the resource sector. Overall, our results are of interest to Australian investors and regulators and contribute to a broader understanding of contextually contingent corporate governance. © 2011 CPA Australia.
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