Effectiveness of Corporate Governance Mechanisms: A Review of the Literature

  • Fatimah Mat Yasin Department of Accounting, Kulliyyah of Economics and Management Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia
  • Rusnah Muhamad Faculty of Business and Accountancy, University of Malaya
  • Noor Adwa Sulaiman Faculty of Business and Accountancy, University of Malaya


The key players in corporate governance worldwide are often associated with their potential for enhancing corporate governance practices. This paper presents a review of academic research concerning the effectiveness of these players. Given the importance of these key players, as emphasized by the regulators in most countries, it is crucial to explore their contributions, as documented in the literature. Hence, fundamental insights for analysing the inputs that contribute to their effectiveness, as well as the processes and the outcomes of their effectiveness are discussed in this paper. Furthermore, there is limited evidence that discusses the effectiveness of these players from the perspective of process issues. However, as such studies pertaining to the process issues are important for understanding how they actually perform their roles and enhance their effectiveness, more studies that focus on the process issues are suggested for future research to provide a better understanding of the effectiveness of key players.

Keywords: Corporate Governance, Key Players, Effectiveness, Inputs, Process, Outcomes
JEL Classification: G30


Abbott, L. J., Parker, S., & Peters, G. F. (2004). Audit Committee Characteristics and Restatements. Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, 23(1), 69-87.
Abbott, L. J., Parker, S., Peters, G. F., & Raghunandan, K. (2003). The Association between Audit Committee Characteristics and Audit Fees. Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory, 22(2), 17-32.
Albrecht, W. S., Howe, K. R., Schueler, D. R., & Stocks, K. D. (1988). Evaluating the Effectiveness of Internal Audit Departments. Altamonte Springs, FL: The Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation.
Bailey, A. D. J., Gramling, A. A., & Ramamoorti, S. (2003). Research Opportunities in Internal Auditing. Altamonte Springs, FL: Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation.
Bame-Aldred, C. W., Brandon, D. M., Messier, W. F., Rittenberg, L. E., & Stefaniak, C. M. (2013). A Summary of Research on External Auditor Reliance on the Internal Audit Function. Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, 32(Supplement 1), 251-286.
Beasley, M. S., Carcello, J. V., Hermanson, D. R., & Lapides, P. D. (2000). Fraudulent financial reporting: consideration of industry traits and corporate governance mechanisms. Accounting Horizons, 14, 441-454.
Beasley, M. S., Carcello, J. V., Hermanson, D. R., & Neal, T. L. (2009). The Audit Committee Oversight Process. Contemporary Accounting Research, 26(1), 65-122.
Beattie, V., & Fearnley, S. (2002). Auditor independence and non-audit services: A literature review.
Bedard, J., Chtourou, S. M., & Courteau, L. (2004). The effect of audit committee expertise, independence and activity on aggressive earnings management. Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, 23(2), 13-35.
Bedard, J., & Gendron, Y. (2010). Strengthening the Financial Reporting System: Can Audit Committees Deliver? International Journal of Auditing, 1-37.
Bluhm, D., Harman, W., Lee, T. W., & Mitchell, T. R. (2011). Qualitative research in management: A decade of progress. Journal of Management Studies, 48, 1866–1891.
Bo¨hm, F., Bollen, L. H., & Hassink, H. F. (2013). Spotlight on the design of European ACs: A comparative descriptive study. International Journal of Auditing, 17(2), 138-161.
Bradbury, M. E., Mak, Y. T., & Tan, S. M. (2004). Board characteristics, audit committee characteristics and abnormal accruals. Retrieved from http://ssrn.com/abstract=535764 website:
Brennan, N., & Solomon, J. (2008). Corporate governance, accountability and mechanisms of accountability: an overview. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 21(7), 885-906.
Brown, L., & Caylor, M. (2006). Corporate Governance and Firm Valuation. Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 25, 904-934.
Brundin, E., & Nordqvist, M. (2008). Beyond facts and figures: the role of emotions in boardroom dynamics. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 16(4), 326-341.
Carcello, J. V., Hermanson, D. R., & Riley, R. A. (2002). Board characteristics and audit fees. Contemporary Accounting Research, 19(3), 365-384.
Carcello, J. V., Hermanson, D. R., & Ye, Z. (2011). Corporate Governance Research in Accounting and Auditing: Insights, Practice Implications, and Future Research Directions. Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, 30(3), 1-31.
Carcello, J. V., & Nagy, A. L. (2004). Audit firm tenure and fraudulent financial reporting. Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, 23(2), 55-69.
Carcello, J. V., Neal, T. L., Palmrose, Z. V., & Scholz, S. (2011). CEO involvement in selecting board members, audit committee effectiveness, and restatements. Contemporary Accounting Research, 28(2), 396-430.
Carey, P., & Simnett, R. (2006). Audit partner tenure and audit quality. The Accounting Review, 81(3), 653-676.
Chaunrommanee, W., & Swierczek, F. W. (2007). Corporate Governance in ASEAN Financial Corporations: Reality or Illusion? Corporate Governance: An International Review, 15(2), 272-283.
Christopher, J. (2010). Corporate governance – a multi-theoretical approach to recognizing the wider influencing forces impacting on organizations. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 21(8), 683-695.
Christopher, J., Sarens, G., & Leung, P. (2009). A critical analysis of the independence of the internal audit function: evidence from Australia. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 22(2), 200-220.
Clark, M., Gibbs, T., & Schroeder, R. (1981). CPAs judge internal audit department objectivity. Management Accounting, 62(8), 40-43.
Cohen, J. R., Gaynor, L. M., Krishnamoorthy, G., & Wright, A. M. (2007). Auditor Communications with the Audit Committee and the Board of Directors: Policy Recommendations and Opportunities for Future Research. Accounting Horizons, 21(2), 165-187.
Cohen, J. R., Hayes, C., Krishnamoorthy, G., Monroe, G. S., & Wright, A. M. (2013). The Effectiveness of SOX Regulation: An Interview Study of Corporate Directors. Behavioral Research in Accounting, 25(1), 61-87.
Cohen, J. R., Krishnamoorthy, G., & Wright, A. (2004). The Corporate Governance Mosaic and Financial Reporting Quality. Journal of Accounting Literature, 87-152.
Cohen, J. R., Krishnamoorthy, G., & Wright, A. (2010). Corporate Governance in the Post-Sarbanes-Oxley Era: Auditors’ Experiences. Contemporary Accounting Research, 27(3), 751-786.
Cohen, J. R., Krishnamoorthy, G., & Wright, A. M. (2002). Corporate governance and the audit process. Contemporary Accounting Research, 19(4), 573-594.
Coram, P., Ferguson, C., & Moroney, R. (2008). Internal Audit, Alternative Audit Structures and the Level of Misappropriation of Assets Fraud. Accounting and Finance, 48(4), 543-559.
Daily, C., Dalton, D. R., & Cannella, A. A. (2003). Corporate Governance: Decades of Dialogue and Data, 28(3), pp. 371–383. Academy of Management Review, 28(3), 371-383.
Destefanis, S., & Sena, V. (2007). Patterns of corporate governance and technical efficiency in Italian manufacturing. Managerial and Decision Economics, 28, 27-40.
DeZoort, F. T., Hermanson, D. R., Archambeault, D. S., & Reed, S. A. (2002). Audit committee effectiveness: A synthesis of the empirical audit committee literature. Journal of Accounting Literature, 21, 38-75.
DeZoort, F. T., Hermanson, D. R., & Houston, R. W. (2003). Audit Committee Member Support for Proposed Audit Adjustments: A Source Credibility Perspective. Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, 22(2), 189-205.
Dobija, D. (2015). Exploring audit committee practices: oversight of financial reporting and external auditors in Poland. Journal of Management and Governance, 19, 113-143.
Gendron, Y., & Bedard, J. (2006). On the constitution of audit committee effectiveness. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 31, 211–239.
Gendron, Y., Bedard, J., & Gosselin, M. (2004). Getting Inside the Black Box: A Field Study of Practices in "Effective" Audit Committees. Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, 23(1), 153-171.
Goodwin-Stewart, J., & Kent, P. (2006). The relation between external audit fees, audit committee characteristics and internal audit. Accounting and Finance, 46(4), 387-404.
Gramling, A. A., Maletta, M. J., Schneider, A., & Church, B. K. (2004). The Role of The Internal Audit Function in Corporate Governance: A Synthesis of the Extant Internal Auditing Literature and Directions for Future Research. Journal of Accounting Literature, 23, 194-244.
Gul, F. A., & Goodwin, J. (2010). Short-term debt maturity structures, credit ratings, and the pricing of audit services. The Accounting Review, 85(3), 877-909.
He, J., & Huang, Z. (2011). Board informal hierarchy and firm financial performance – Exploring a tactic structure guiding boardroom interactions. Academy of Management Journal, 54, 1119-1139.
Hochschild, A. R. (1983). The Managed Heart. Commercialization of Human Feeling. Los Angeles: University of California Press.
Hsu, H.-E. (2008). Audit committees in US entrepreneurial firms. Journal of American Academy of Business, 13(1), 121-127.
Huse, M. (1998). Researching the Dynamics of Board-Stakeholder Relations. Long Range Planning, 31(2), 218-226.
Huy, Q. N. (2002). Emotional Balancing of Organizational Continuity and Radical Change: The Contribution of Middle Managers. Administrative Science Quarterly, 47(1), 31-69.
Johnson, P. (2004). Shared thinking and interaction in the family business boardroom. Corporate Governance: The Journal for Effective Board Behaviour, 4, 39-51.
Jonh, K., & Senbet, L. (1998). Corporate Governance and Board Effectiveness. Journal o f Banking and Finance, 22, 371-403.
Klein, A. (2002a). Audit committee, board of director characteristics, and earnings management. Journal of Accounting & Economics, 33, 375-400.
Knechel, W. R., & Vanstraelen, A. (2007). The relationship between auditor tenure and audit quality implied by going concern opinions. Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory, 26, 113-131.
Krishnamoorthy, G., & Maletta, M. (2012). The Role of Internal Audit in the Financial Statement Audit: The Contingent Effects of Board Independence and Audit Committee Effectiveness. Northeastern University.
Machold, S., & Farquhar, S. (2013). Board task evolution: a longitudinal field study in the UK. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 21, 147-162.
Marsh, H. L., & Powell, T. E. (1989). The Audit Committee Charter: Rx for Fraud Prevention. Journal of Accountancy, February, 5-57.
Mat Zain, M., & Subramaniam, N. (2007). Internal Auditor Perceptions on Audit Committee Interactions: A Qualitative Study in Malaysian Public Corporations. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 15(5), 894-908.
McDaniel, L., Martin, R. D., & Maines, L. A. (2002). Evaluating financial reporting quality: The effects of financial expertise versus financial literacy. The Accounting Review(Supplement), 139-167.
McNulty, T., & Pettigrew, A. M. (1999). Strategists on the board. Organisation studies, 20(1), 47-74.
McNulty, T., Zattoni, A., & Douglas, T. (2013). Developing Corporate Governance Research through Qualitative Methods: A Review of Previous Studies. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 21(2), 183–198.
Misangyi, V. F., & Acharya, A. G. (2014). Substitutes or Complements? A Configurational Examination of Corporate Governance Mechanisms. Academy of Management Journal, 57(6), 1681–1705.
Mitton, T. (2002). A Cross-Firm Analysis of the Impact of Corporate Governance on the East Asian Financial Crisis. Journal of Financial Economics, 64(2), 215-241.
O’Higgins, E. (2002). Non-executive directors on boards in Ireland: co-option, characteristics and contributions. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 10(1), 19-28.
Parker, L. D. (2007b). Internal governance in the nonprofit boardroom: a participant observer study. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 15(5), 923- 934.
Pettigrew, A. M., & McNulty, T. (1995). Power and Influence in and around the Boardroom. Human Relations, 48(845-873).
Pettigrew, A. M., & McNulty, T. (1998). Sources and Uses of Power In and Around the Boardroom. European Journal of Work and Organisational Psychology, 7(2), 197-214.
Prawitt, D. F., Smith, J. L., & Wood, D. A. (2009). Internal Audit Quality and Earnings Management. The Accounting Review, 84(4), 1255-1280.
Pugliese, A., Nicholson, G., & Bezemer, P.-J. (2015). An Observational Analysis of the Impact of Board Dynamics and Directors’ Participation on Perceived Board Effectiveness. British Journal of Management, 26, 1-25.
Roberts, J., McNulty, T., & Stiles, P. (2005). Beyond agency conceptions of the work of the nonexecutive director: Creating accountability in the boardroom. British Journal of Management, 16, S5–S26.
Roussy, M. l. (2013). Internal auditors’ roles: From watchdogs to helpers and protectors of the top manager. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 24, 550-571.
Salleh, Z., & Steward, J. (2012). The Role of the Audit Committee in Resolving Auditor-Client Disagreements: A Malaysian Study. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 25(8), 1340-1372.
Salleh, Z., Steward, J., & Manson, S. (2006). The impact of board composition and ethnicity on audit quality: Evidence from Malaysian companies. Malaysian Accounting Review, 5(2), 61-83.
Samra-Fredericks, D. (2000b). An analysis of the behavioural dynamics of corporate governance –A talk-based ethnography of a UK manufacturing “board-in-action". Corporate Governance: An International Review, 8, 311-326.
Sarens, G., Christopher, J., & Zaman, M. (2013). A Study of the Informal Interactions between Audit Committees and Internal Auditors in Australia. Australian Accounting Review, 23(4), 307-329.
Sarens, G., De Beelde, I., & Everaert, P. (2009). Internal Audit: A Comfort Provider to the Audit Committee. The British Accounting Review, 1-17.
Soobaroyen, T., & Mahadeo, J. D. (2012). Do corporate governance codes improve board accountability? Evidence from an emerging economy. Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, 9(4), 337-362.
Spira, L. F. (2006). Black boxes, red herrings and white powder: UK Audit Committees in the 21st Century. Journal of Banking Regulation, 7(1/2), 180-188.
Stewart, J., & Munro, L. (2007). The impact of audit committee existence and audit committee meeting frequency on the external audit: Perceptions of Australian auditors. International Journal of Auditing, 11(1), 51-69.
Suwaidan, S., & Qasim, A. (2010). External Auditors’ Reliance on Internal Auditors and Its Impact on Audit Fees: An Empirical Investigation. Managerial Auditing Journal, 25(6), 509-525.
Turley, S., & Zaman, M. (2004). The Corporate Governance Effects of Audit Committees. Journal of Management and Governance, 8, 305–332.
Turley, S., & Zaman, M. (2007). Audit committee effectiveness: informal processes and behavioural effects. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 20(5), 765-788.
Yatim, Kent, P., & Clarkson, P. (2006). Governance structure, ethnicity, and audit fees of Malaysian listed firms. Managerial Auditing Journal, 21(7), 757-782.
Zaman, M. (2001). Turnbull – Generating Undue Expectations of the Corporate Governance Role of Audit Committees. Managerial Auditing Journal, 16(1), 5-9.
Zaman, M., & Sarens, G. (2013). Informal Interactions Between Audit Committees And Internal Audit Functions: Exploratory Evidence And Directions For Future Research. Managerial Auditing Journal, 28(6), 1-30.
How to Cite
MAT YASIN, Fatimah; MUHAMAD, Rusnah; SULAIMAN, Noor Adwa. Effectiveness of Corporate Governance Mechanisms: A Review of the Literature. Asian Journal of Accounting Perspectives, [S.l.], p. 30-54, dec. 2016. ISSN 0128-0384. Available at: <https://ajap.um.edu.my/index.php/AJAP/article/view/5901>. Date accessed: 20 oct. 2017.