Dharma, Corporate Governance and Transparency: An Overview of the Asian Markets

Madan Lal Bhasin

Abstract


Corporate Governance (CG) has assumed greater limelight with the series of corporate failings, following which
the markets, investors and society at large have begun to loose faith in the infallibility of these systems.
Nowadays, the conduct of those who take care of ‘public’ money is being questioned since they are being tested
on ‘ethical’ standards. We have advocated an application of ‘Dharma’, as stipulated in ancient Indian ‘Shastras,’
to improve CG. Progressive firms in India have voluntarily put in place systems of good CG and are applying
some of the ethical values derived from Shashtras.
Asia is a diverse region and improving CG has been on the agenda for their regulators, with most markets having
introduced comprehensive regulations. We have provided an overview of two global studies conducted by the
ACGA and JP Morgan. No doubt, CG scenario has improved to some extent in the Asian region and some
markets have made significant progress, the ethos of CG has yet to sink in. Several Asian markets have
individually established their own national codes to address their special requirements. We believe that
maintaining the momentum for CG reforms in Asian markets will require some rethinking on basic questions.
Thus, CG in Asia remains, at best, a work-in-progress requiring some rethinking.

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International Journal of Business and Management   ISSN 1833-3850 (Print)   ISSN 1833-8119 (Online)

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