Published Online:https://doi.org/10.5465/amp.2017.0177

Heterogeneity among corporate governance practices in emerging economies presents new challenges to researchers and business practitioners. Prior research in international business and comparative corporate governance has considered this practice heterogeneity in emerging markets as an outcome of institutional voids or deficiencies to be addressed. In contrast, we propose viewing the variety of governance practices as the outcome of an innovation process that aims to better align the prototypical best practices and the idiosyncratic institutional or industry contexts. We argue that companies in emerging countries innovate their governance practices by combining different elements of external and internal governance systems using local embeddedness and global agency. Our examples of governance innovations in the emerging markets of China and Korea illustrate that this focus on embeddedness and agency offers insights into the salience and applicability of different types of governance innovations, from decoupling of local practices from global rules to experimentations with governance practices by change agents.

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