Staff Papers
Published Date: 01 March 2004

Review of Literature & Empirical Research on Corporate Governance.

MAS Staff Paper No. 29, March 2004 - By Pei Sai Fan


Corporate Governance is about putting in place the structure, processes and mechanisms by which business and affairs of the company or firm are directed and managed, in order to enhance long term shareholder value through accountability of managers and enhancing firm performance. In other words, through such structure, processes and mechanisms, the well-known agency problem - the separation of ownership (by shareholders) and control (by managers) which gives rise to conflict of interests within a firm may be addressed such that the interest of the managers are more aligned with that of shareholders.

In recent years, the corporate scandals, some of which are still unfolding, involving high incidence of improper activities of managers expropriating the resources of a firm at the ultimate expense of shareholders prompt the intense re-examination and scrutiny of some of the existing corporate governance practices and also considerable interest in empirical research on the effectiveness of various corporate governance institutions and mechanisms. 

This paper makes an attempt to review extensively the literature and empirical research addressing corporate governance and corporate performance, and the roles and effectiveness of various governance institutions and mechanisms, in particular the board of directors.