Corporate governance reform in Nigeria: upstream and downstream interventions

Franklin Nakpodia*, Femi Olan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose: Internal (e.g. firm performance, internal stakeholders) and external pressures (e.g. globalisation, technology, corporate scandals) have intensified calls for corporate governance reforms across varieties of capitalism. Yet, corporate governance practices among developing economies remain problematic. Drawing insights from Africa’s largest economy (Nigeria) and relying on the resource dependence theorisation, this study aims to address two questions – what are the prerequisites for effective reforms; and what reforms yield robust corporate governance? Design/methodology/approach: This study adopts a qualitative methodology comprising semi-structured interviews with 21 executives in publicly listed Nigerian firms. The interviews were analysed using the content analysis technique. Findings: This study proposes two sequential reforms (i.e. the upstream and downstream). The upstream factors highlight the preconditions that support corporate governance reforms, i.e. government commitment and enabling environment, while the downstream reforms combine elements of awareness and regulation to proffer robust corporate governance interventions. Originality/value: This research further stresses the need to consider a bottom-up approach to corporate governance in place of the dominant top-down strategy. This strategy allows agents to participate actively in corporate governance policy-making rather than a top-down model, which imposes corporate governance on agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)979-1003
Number of pages25
JournalCorporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society
Issue number5
Early online date14 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2022


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