MNEs’ corporate governance disclosure: a strategic response to corrupt environments



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Corporate Governance (Bingley)


Purpose: This study aims to examine how corruption influences the voluntary disclosure of corporate governance (CG)-related information by developed country multinationals (DC-MNEs) and emerging market multinationals (EM-MNEs) investing in six Latin American countries. Design/methodology/approach: The study uses information from 300 MNEs included in the 2018 ranking of the 500 Largest Latin American companies (America Economía, 2018). Each MNE’s final annual report for the financial year ending 2018 was examined and coded to obtain the corporate governance disclosure index. Fractional probit regression was applied to test the hypotheses of the research. Findings: DC-MNEs disclose more CG-related information in corrupt environments than EM-MNEs. This differentiated behavior occurs because DC-MNEs face higher legitimacy pressures in corrupt environments than EM-MNEs and because EM-MNEs are more experienced than DC-MNEs in dealing with such corrupt environments. Practical implications: While both EM-MNEs and DC-MNEs need to continue investing in corrupt countries to grow, they need to disclose CG-related information as a strategic tool to manage the legitimacy issues triggered by corruption in the markets they operate. Originality/value: Despite corruption being pervasive in emerging markets, its implications for firms’ strategic behaviors are still under-researched. This paper extends the scope of corporate governance and international business fields by studying how MNEs respond to relevant dimensions of the macro environment. This research shows that voluntary disclosure of CG-related information is a strategic response of the MNEs to gain legitimacy in corrupt environments.




85133913441 (Scopus)