Culture and corporate governance: the influence of language and religion in Switzerland

Volonté, Christophe. (2015) Culture and corporate governance: the influence of language and religion in Switzerland. Management International Review, 55 (1). pp. 77-118.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/42848/

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We investigate the effect of culture on corporate governance using the extraordinary opportunity that the corporate landscape of Switzerland provides. Within a single institutional framework (e.g., Swiss federal corporate law), we use language (German and French) and religion (Roman Catholicism and Protestantism) as proxies for culture. These groups share a distinct set of values particularly in their tolerance for hierarchical structures. We observe that firms in Swiss–French areas and firms in Roman Catholic cantons are more likely to have one-tier boards, whereas two-tier boards are more prevalent in Swiss–German areas and Protestant cantons. Furthermore, board composition is significantly driven by language. In contrast, ownership and equity structure are not significantly related to culture.
Faculties and Departments:06 Faculty of Business and Economics > Departement Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Professuren Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Finanzmanagement (Gantenbein)
UniBasel Contributors:Volonté, Christophe
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:08 Feb 2020 14:18
Deposited On:23 Jun 2016 09:44

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