Exploration of Ethics as Moral Substance in the Context of Corporate Governance

Zaleha Othman, Rashidah Abdul Rahman


The Corporate Governance guidelines, rules and regulations were introduced to guide corporations towards good governance practices. However, there seem to be contradicting events that projected otherwise. The series of corporate scandals seems to be giving the impression that there is something lacking in the present corporation governance practices among the corporations, in particular, the public listed companies. Several opinions were gathered in answering this lacuna and the outcome seems to pin point to the lack of moral element in the present corporate governance practices. Thus, this study attempts to explore ethics aspects as a moral substance in relation to corporate governance. Guided by the subjectivity of the research issue, the qualitative approach was used to investigate the subject matter. Specifically, purposive sampling was used. The study found various ways to embed ethics in promoting morality in corporate governance practices among the corporations in the study. The ethical content developed in the corporations guide the corporate business practices, and, hence, motivates good governance, i.e. accountability, responsiveness, responsibility and transparency. Ethical principle, ethical position and ethical structures are the three main elements of ethics that emerged from the analysis of the research data that drive the corporations towards inclusive governance practices. In addition, process of integrating morality in governance is also part of the initiatives able to guide towards good governance. Overall, the study described a new scope of corporate governance framework. The various emergent patterns answered the question ethics is the moral substance that can be incorporated into corporate governance practices. Generalization of the findings would be difficult due to the limitations of the scope, hence an in-depth case study is proposed for future research to generate deeper and rich description of the issue.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/ass.v7n8p173

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