The debate about implementing Western corporate governance in Kuwait: an institutional logics perspective

Alsaqubi, Bedour Jasim (2020) The debate about implementing Western corporate governance in Kuwait: an institutional logics perspective. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Globalisation has seen Western (Anglo–American) corporate governance models imposed throughout the world despite it conflicting with many countries’ localised contexts, cultures and practices and having variable success, being particularly problematic in many less developed economies such as Kuwait. This qualitative case study analyses the implementation of Western corporate governance in Kuwait by conducting semi-structured interviews and document analyses that draw on institutional logics as an analysis framework. It does so to understand how this new governance system caused logics contestation in the field and whether this contestation was consequently resolved or not. In 2013, the initial corporate governance implementation was about overcoming the country’s oil dependence and aligning with broader standards to attract foreign investment and embrace a changing world. It largely failed, as many locals resisted the imposition of this new governance institutional logic and instead adhered to their traditional logic (i.e. family logic), bringing logics contestation. This Western governance was consequently modified and reintroduced in 2016, but it remained problematic. The thesis contributes to literature shortcomings by providing new cultural perspectives on corporate governance in a developing country, thus filling gaps and extending the research beyond its previous focus on Western empirical settings. It also adds qualitative research to this area by conducting intensive fieldwork and in-depth interviews, all supported by theory and review of documents. On an institutional logics level, the thesis applies this perspective in a non-Western (Middle Eastern) context to understand the effects of logics on individuals and organisations in markets and contexts different from Western settings. The work shows how this process caused logics contestation in the field and got modified and re-defined over time in this non-Western setting – a host context necessarily studied much herein. It also provides empirical evidence for Besharov and Smith’s (2014) framework about logics multiplicity in a non-Western (Middle Eastern) context via the notions of ‘centrality’ and ‘compatibility’. Attention is given primarily to the apparent incompatibility and contestation between governance and family logics. This contestation negatively reacted against the implementation, causing great resistance that was augmented through postponing the implementation and redrafting the regulations. Although the hybrid draft of regulations was implemented on July 2016, aspects of decoupling, ‘loose coupling’ and resistance to these regulations remained. Companies continued to give ceremonial commitment to the governance logic to gain legitimacy, while preserving their own family identity. Besides assessing the appropriateness of the Western corporate system in such contexts and facilitating the effective resolution of such logics contestation, this case study (interpretive schema) ultimately seeks to understand the debate about Western regulations over the period from 2013 to 2017 and how these regulations were made operable in Kuwait among local resistance. On a practical level, this thesis can help similar contexts and broader governance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: globalisation, corporate governance, institutional logics, logics multiplicity, logics contestations, Besharov and Smith‘s (2014) framework, Kuwait.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Accounting and Finance
Supervisor's Name: Gallhofer, Professor Sonja
Date of Award: 2020
Embargo Date: 8 March 2025
Depositing User: Dr Bedour Alsaqubi
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-80258
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2020 11:38
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2021 20:36

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