The German corporate governance code and its adoption by listed SMEs – just another ‘Procrustes bed’?

  • Published September 27, 2016
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    Volume 14 2016, Issue #3 (cont. 2), pp. 494-503
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    2 articles

The discussion of companies’ compliance with corporate governance standards and codes has widely neglected the situation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Accordingly, the authors examine a sample of 151 SMEs listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 2006 (before the financial crisis) and 2012 (after the financial crisis) and, thus, required to declare whether they comply with the recommendations of the German Corporate Governance Code or not. While code compliance seems to be quite homogenous comparing different branches, the authors found that company size has a positive impact on code compliance. With regard to a remarkably high number of recommendations a lot of companies do not comply to, company size might be a major problem, why the existing GCGC does not fit very well to the situation of SMEs. This is why, most remarkably, code compliance does not exert any significant influence on either market reaction or on operating performance of SMEs.

Keywords: corporate governance, SMEs, Germany, firm performance.
JEL Classification: G3, G34, M10, L25

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