Country Analyses, Second Edition
Edited by Christine A. Mallin
Chapter 17: Some reflections on corporate governance in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region
David Weir INTRODUCTION Corporate governance can be defined in various ways but the central core of meaning subsists in the relation of organizational management to the interests of stakeholders. These may be defined as shareholders and management but also may include employees, customers, suppliers and creditors (Cadbury, 2002). A much-quoted generic definition is offered by Cadbury (2000) who says Corporate Governance is concerned with holding the balance between economic and social goals and between individual and communal goals. The corporate governance framework is there to encourage the efficient use of resources and equally to require accountability for the stewardship of those resources. The aim is to align as nearly as possible the interests of individuals, corporations and society. Most definitions of corporate governance include some reference to understandings of ‘fairness’ and ‘equity’ embedded in the legal, regulatory, institutional and ethical environment of the community, and these are ultimately rooted in deep cultural understandings of right and wrong. Historically, however, corporate governance only emerged fairly recently as a topic of relevance for business education in American and European business schools in the wake of the corporate scandals of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries involving Enron, Arthur Andersen and WorldCom, among others. It is possible that it may turn out to be a special remedy for a specific, culture-bound problem. It may be that there are unlikely to be universally-accepted definitions of corporate governance throughout the diverse business institutions of the global economy and that in any region of the...
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