Corporate Governance Codes and Gender Diversity: Management-Based Regulation in Action

University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law
Publication Type:
Journal Article
University of New South Wales Law Journal, 2016, 39 (2), pp. 715 - 739
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Over the last two decades corporate governance codes have become a popular method of regulating corporate behaviour worldwide. Many stock exchanges now use the ‘comply-or-explain’ mechanism to encourage adoption of corporate governance practices seen to be beneficial to listed companies and their stakeholders. The proliferation of these codes in recent years has been dramatic: 24 countries were reported to have a code of corporate governance in place in 1999; 64 countries in 2008; and 93 countries had provided their codes to the European Corporate Governance Institute in 2015. The aim of this article is to explore how these codes take effect in terms of altering organisational behaviour. In order to do this the article takes part of the Australian corporate governance code (ASX code) as a regulatory case study. It analyses the corporate response to the ASX code’s recommendations on gender diversity shortly after their introduction. By doing so the article is able to provide insights into the way in which code recommendations are implemented by companies and the management processes that can be instigated as a result of this kind of soft regulation.
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