Institutional determinants of private shareholder engagement in Brazil and South Africa: the role of regulation

Yamahaki, Camila and Frynas, Jedrzej George (2016) Institutional determinants of private shareholder engagement in Brazil and South Africa: the role of regulation. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 24 (5) . pp. 509-527. ISSN 0964-8410 [Article] (doi:10.1111/corg.12166)

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Research Question/Issue:
This study investigates to what extent regulation encourages private shareholder engagement attitudes and behaviour (including behind-the-scenes consultations, letters, meetings and ongoing dialogues) of pension funds and asset managers with listed investee companies on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues in Brazil and South Africa.

Research Findings/Insights:
Drawing on 44 in-depth semi-structured interviews with pension fund representatives, asset managers and other investment players, the findings suggest that legislation provides limited direct encouragement to private engagement behaviour. However, legislation encourages attitudes towards Responsible Investment by enhancing investor understanding of Responsible Investment, increasing the interest of pension funds and asset consultants in the Responsible Investment practices of asset managers, and reducing the fear of pension funds to violate their fiduciary duties, thereby promoting an enabling environment for ESG engagement.

Theoretical/Academic Implications:
This article adds to the literature on comparative corporate governance and shareholder engagement. To the best of our knowledge, this is first study that specifically analyses how regulation affects private shareholder engagement behaviour in emerging markets, providing empirical support for the institutional perspective. The findings also suggest that the sophistication of the legislation on ESG issues in Brazil and South Africa is more typical of developed countries, indicating the need for a more fine-grained analysis of emerging markets in corporate governance studies.

Practitioner/Policy Implications:
This study draws investors’ attention to the importance of understanding the national legal environment of the companies with which they engage and offers insights to governments interested in fostering ESG engagement practices.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Corporate Governance, Emerging Markets, Institutional Theory, Responsible Investment, Shareholder Engagement
Research Areas: A. > Business School > International Management and Innovation > Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics group
Item ID: 18981
Notes on copyright: © 2016 The Authors. Corporate Governance: An International Review Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
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Depositing User: George Frynas
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2016 10:59
Last Modified: 17 May 2023 17:17

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