The Labyrinth of International Governance Codes: The Quest for Harmonisation

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This conference proceeding was originally published as:

Barnes, L., Poulton, E., & Clarke, F. (2016). The labyrinth of international governance codes: The quest for harmonisation. In A. Wahid, C. Amaro, & W. Murad (Eds.), Proceedings of the Australia-Middle East Conference on Business and Social Sciences. Paper presented at the Australia-Middle East Conference on Business and Social Sciences, City Seasons Hotel, Dubai, 17-18 April (pp. 494-504). Adelaide, Australia: Australian Academy of Business and Social Sciences.

ISBN: 978-0-9925622-3-6


150199 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability not elsewhere classified| 150299 Banking, Finance and Investment not elsewhere classified| 159999 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services not elsewhere classified

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There is considerable debate as to whether there will ever be one international currency, one “business” language spoken or one set of accounting standards applicable to all businesses listed in various countries stock exchanges. Governance principles are no different! Is it possible to create one set of rules or principles to guide all businesses across borders? This research compares the governance standards across the globe, from China, to the Nordic region, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the United States of America. The findings show that across borders

governance codes are very similar, with the opportunity to create a Global Governance Standard (GGS), applicable to any business in any country. The Global Governance Standard (GGS) is a one-size-fits-all regime applicable to businesses listing on stock exchanges.

The “one-size-fits-all” GGS could potentially apply to any large business, listed on any stock exchange, creating efficiencies and ease of comparison for potential stakeholders interested in businesses. The “BOARDSS” model can be used by listed companies, in order to satisfy corporate governance codes from across the globe.

Reducing the labyrinth of governance codes to just one GGS would create a uniform approach to governance, supported by government and stock exchanges around the world. A GGS would be the final evolution in the notion of governance since the codes of conduct of Hammurabi of 1800 BC. Let the borders be gone, and the GGS left standing as the final chapter in governance evolution.


Used by permission: Australian Academy of Business and Social Sciences and the author.

This proceeding may be accessed from the publisher here.