Corporate Governance in an International Context: legal systems, financing patterns and cultural variables

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Abstract

Corporate governance systems develop as a result of cultural underpinnings, legal structures and different forms of financing business. This paper describes these factors in the US and UK, two examples of strong shareholder ownership patterns of financing, and Germany, a country with a tradition of strong creditor financing. Recommendations are made for best practices in governance. Although enhanced governance mechanisms is a sound goal to pursue, the results may be meaningless unless internal controls are strengthened and top management and the board of directors establish an ethical tone at the top.

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