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Corporate governance, critical junctures and ethnic politics: Ownership and boards in Malaysia

Mohamad-Yusof, Nor Zalina; Wickramasinghe, Danture; Zaman, Mahbub


Nor Zalina Mohamad-Yusof

Danture Wickramasinghe


Quotas and affirmative policies are often implicated in debates on corporate governance. This paper examines critical junctures and the role of willful actors in mobilizing their ethnic and political positions to affect governance reforms in Malaysia since independence. We trace the trajectory of Bumiputera affirmative policy in shaping equity ownership and composition of boards of directors using historical institutionalism as a lens. We find ethnic politics has been an endogenous force resulting in Malay share of equity ownership rising from negligible levels to over 20 percent and almost half of the boards of directors of listed companies comprising of Malays. Our analysis shows that governance is a representation, as well as a manifestation, of how ownership and board structures are institutionally reproduced rather than a mere response to global isomorphic pressures.


Mohamad-Yusof, N. Z., Wickramasinghe, D., & Zaman, M. (2018). Corporate governance, critical junctures and ethnic politics: Ownership and boards in Malaysia. Critical Perspectives On Accounting, 55, 33-52.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 14, 2017
Online Publication Date Feb 26, 2018
Publication Date Sep 1, 2018
Deposit Date Mar 22, 2018
Publicly Available Date Aug 27, 2019
Journal Critical Perspectives on Accounting
Print ISSN 1045-2354
Electronic ISSN 1095-9955
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 55
Pages 33-52
Keywords Accounting; Information systems and management; Finance; Sociology and political science
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