Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

People Centric Governance Model: Conceptualizing the Pillars of Significance

Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

People Centric Governance Model: Conceptualizing the Pillars of Significance

Article excerpt

Since early 1990's, corporate governance has been an issue discussed by many, particularly practitioners and academia. Of late, there are even increasing discussion of corporate governance particularly relate with the inadequacy of the corporate governance practices. The inadequacy of the current corporate governance practices was often linked with the many corporate scandals, mostly occurred in the last three decades. Commonly critics of the inadequacy focused on the people that govern the corporations (Greenfield, 2004; Uzzaman, 2010). More often than not, people is perceive as the key to the many corporate governance flaws. Recently, the Volkswagen scandals, Toshiba Accounting Scandals were proved to this increasing concern.

Similar pattern of corporate governance discussion emerged in Malaysia. Scandals surrounding corporations such as Transmile Group Bhd, Megan Media Holding Bhd in 2005, Axis Inc Bhd and Linear Corp Bhd in 2009, Kenmark Industrial Co (M) Bhd and Sime Darby, in 2010 and the most recent the 1MDB case in 2015, were all linked to people that govern the corporations. Scholar such as Liew (2007) had voiced the concerns on lack of people centric governance culture in Malaysia. Liew (2007) pointed that the culture in Malaysia call for Malaysian to govern corporations with full integrity and honesty (Liew, 2007).

As researchers in the field of corporate governance, we were aware of the discussion and debates that the current corporate governance in Malaysia lack people centric and that there is an urgent need to improve the corporate governance practices towards people centric governance. Hence, our interests led us to explore, the concept of people centric governance. In other words, we focus to deploy the role of people in the corporate governance. Although, we found consensus among scholars (Letza et al, 2008; Liew, 2007; Uzzaman, 2010) about the importance of people; there are limited empirical evidence noted in the literature. Therefore, our paper aims to gain new insights and deepen understanding of the role of people in corporations relevant to build good governance practices.

Qualitative methodology was used to explore the concept of people centric governance practices and its impacts, identifying the key actors and how their distinctive roles are associated with corporate governance practices. Specifically, a grounded theory method was used to discover the aspect of people in governance process. Particular, Charmaz (2006) grounded theory was used as basis. The logic of adopting to using grounded theory are justified with two rationalisations, which are: (1) lack of research in exploring people as vector of corporate governance, hence developing a theory grounded in the data from the field is prior and (2) exploring the phenomenon through interpretivist point of view gives deeper insight.

The study retain the fundamental grounded theory research design which is the process of concurrent data generation and analysis (Birk & Mills, 2013, p. 10). To gain deeper insights into current practice, we used a sample of 33 in-depth interviews with participants in the field. Overall, this study extends the current literature on the role of people in corporate governance in Malaysia.


The First Code of Corporate Governance, the Cadbury Report 1991, played a major role in enabling implementation of the structure of corporate governance practices. The Cadbury Report 1991, for example, recommended points for corporate governance practices related to organizational structure and processes. The Cadbury Report 1991 played a major role in the development of corporate governance codes globally (Mallin, 2007). Subsequent to the Cadbury Report, there are other codes, such as the Greenbury Report (1995) and the Hampel Report (1998) have been developed to guide corporate governance practices. These codes have similar aims and focus: providing the structure and process of governance to enable corporations to conduct their day-to-day operations. …

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