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Swedish Code of Corporate Governance : A study of the compliance with the code among Swedish listed companies

by Persson, Therese; Karsberg, Helena

Abstract (Summary)
After several scandals in the US, the focus on corporate governance has increased rapidly and led to implementations of “codes of best practice” in many countries. In 2002, the Swedish government appointed a committee with the purpose to develop a Swedish Code of Corporate Governance. The purpose with the code is to help the Swedish industry to regain its confidence in order to attract capital after the scandals that have occurred. The code shall be implemented by Swedish com-panies listed on the A-list on the Stockholm stock exchange and companies on the O-list with a market value above 3 billion SEK and shall be implemented by the 1:st of July 2005.The code is based on the principle “comply or explain” which means that companies do not have to comply with the requirements of the code as long as they explain their reasons why they deviate. The purpose of this thesis is thereby to examine to what extent Swedish companies prepare to comply or are already complying with the requirements of the code and the reasons for possible deviations regarding the level of compliance between the companies. In order to answer the purpose stated, the authors have chosen to use both a quantitative and a qualitative method. The authors have sent surveys to all companies obliged to implement the code in order to find out to what extent the Swedish companies prepare to comply or are already complying with the code today. In order to answer the second research question, why companies prepare to comply, or are complying to different degrees, hypotheses were stated and interviews with five companies listed on the Stockholm stock exchange were made.The authors found a high compliance rate among Swedish companies, with a mean of 88,49%. The companies on the A-list are complying to a larger extent than the ones on the O-list. Based on the hypotheses, the authors found that companies with higher turnovers are more likely to comply with the code to a larger extent than companies with lower turnovers. Additional reasons to a high degree of compliance rate with the code, are: the need for resources, the impact of media, the culture and personal values within the organization and the fact that the code does not imply any major changes for the organization. Reasons why companies do not prepare to comply or are already complying to a large extent are: the increased devotion of resources that the implementation requires, the high level of details and the complicated requirements of the code. These last-mentioned factors lead to difficulties to interpret the requirements of the code and increased bureaucracy, which thereby lead to a lower level of compliance.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Högskolan i Jönköping

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:corporate governance swedish code of

ISBN:

Date of Publication:06/14/2005

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