HCBE Faculty Articles

Perceived Qualities of a 'Good' Chairman: A Challenge for Corporate Governance in South Africa

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South African Journal of Business Management

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Corporate governance is increasingly being viewed as essential to sound business practice. The recommendations of the Cadbury Committee in thc United Kingdom with respect to the role of a chairman are similar to those later formulated in the King Report on Corporate Governance in South Africa. In the present study the perceived qualities of 'good' chairmen are investigated among chairmen, chief executives and main board members in the UK and South Africa. In both the UK and in South Africa the same robust methodology was used, enabling an inter-country comparison of results. The UK study comprised 60 in-depth interviews followed by a mailing of 400 questionnaires to which 117 main-board members responded. Thc South African study comprised 15 in-depth interviews followed by a mailing of 2418 questionnaires to which 274 main-board members responded, in both cases, in the analysis, four-factor and four-cluster solutions emerged. Not surprisingly, the results for the two countries are quite different from each other and different profiles of preferred chairmen were found, in the case of the UK, the most preferred profile supports the execution of roles recommended for good governance while in South Africa, the least preferred profile appears to be the most appropriate.





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