Identifying ways organisations improve their governance and sustainability

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We conduct innovative research in the areas of governance, financial systems and sustainability using a variety of quantitative and qualitative methodologies. We possess expertise in a range of systems, programs and knowledge in these areas across both established economies and emerging markets. We also subscribe to many national and international databases that support our research.

Our sustainability research considers corporate social responsibility performance, disclosure and sustainability practices of management and their impacts on the economy, profitability, operations, the community, the environment and society in general.

Our corporate governance research is structured to analyse the firm’s performance and the reporting of it in conformance with rules, regulations and legislation. Specifically, we undertake assessments of regulatory frameworks, external auditors and audit committees in monitoring financial reporting quality, internal control, and risk management, and the remuneration and nominations committees in setting and overseeing the firm’s compensation structure. This incorporates an examination of agency relations, guanxi relations, behavioural finance and the role of various stakeholders such as management, BOD, analysts, shareholders, creditors and institutional investors.

With reforms in accounting and auditing standards, legislation and regulations, governance based research has gained increasing importance across multiple disciplines. These reforms create opportunities to test the effect of these events on governance and compliance with a view of testing the effectiveness of such reforms.

Key projects

Auditing efficiency in the public sector Researcher: Dr June Cao

We investigate the influence of an exogenous institutional environment shock on auditing efficiency in the public sector. Using the government measures campaign in China as a quasi-natural experiment, we find that that this campaign enhances government auditing efficiency, and further has positive impacts on the economy and environment. Our study indicates that the top-down monitoring system plays an effective role in curbing corruption and in enhancing government accountability, and economic, environmental, and social sustainability.

Are Corruption and Corporate Tax Avoidance in the U.S. Related? Researcher: Prof Grantley Taylor

Broader U.S. state level cultural and environmental factors impact the governance structure and compliance incentives of firms domiciled in those states. We examine whether state-level corruption and firm-level corporate tax avoidance in the U.S. are related. We expect that firm-level tax avoidance to be related to state-level corruption and for this relation to vary based on cultural factors, litigation risk, corporate governance, social capital or political connections across U.S. states.