Journal of Management & Governance

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 645–681 | Cite as

Is there a distinctive MENA model of corporate governance?

  • Jenifer Piesse
  • Roger Strange
  • Fahad Toonsi


This study explores the diversity of corporate governance practices in the MENA region, with particular emphasis on Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Interviews with senior managers find that the state, foreign investors and large family groups act as monitors of corporations in both countries, whereas the role of institutional investors and other shareholder activist groups is minimal. Ownership was more concentrated in Egypt than in Saudi Arabia, particularly in family firms. However, control is firmly in the hands of dominant shareholders even when ownership concentration is not high enough to merit such control and boards are dominated by majority shareholders. The high levels of concentrated ownership and control, and the low levels of disclosure and transparency, clearly differentiates the corporate governance system in the region from that in Anglo-American countries while the importance of state and family shareholders reflects characteristics of organisation and control found in many developing countries, predominantly those in Asia. However, it remains premature to speak of a unique MENA model of corporate governance.


Corporate governance Middle East North Africa 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bournemouth UniversityBournemouthUK
  2. 2.University of StellenboschStellenboschRepublic of South Africa
  3. 3.University of SussexBrightonUK
  4. 4.King’s College LondonLondonUK

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