The King Reports on Corporate Governance in South Africa: An Ubuntu African Philosophy Analysis



In 1994, South Africa opened its doors to democracy. It was a utilitarian effort; the previously disadvantaged/marginalised sections of its society could now participate in the economic and political sphere of the South African landscape (Stewart 2010). In that same year the first King Report on corporate governance was introduced and which sought to educate and align the newly democratic South Africa to the machinations of the capitalist market system. A revised King Report culminated into King (ii) in 2002, then King (iii) in 2009. King (iii) came into effect in 2010 and sought to emulate the United Kingdom Combined Code of 2010. One can posit that the King Reports reflected the changes in the socio-economic and political sphere apparent in South Africa and the ideal corporate governance frameworks at particular times in history (1994, 2002 and 2009). King (i) was meant to address the face of a new corporate governance and laid the foundations of an institutionalised corporate governance. King (ii) identified the changes in the economic environment and global corporate world. King (iii) noted the need for comprehensive reporting, the credit crunch a crisis in corporate capitalism and argued that the harsh and inflexible Sarbanes Oxley Act failed to prevent the collapse of many of the leading corporate entities in the USA.


Corporate Governance Audit Committee Sustainability Reporting Corporate Entity Corporate Governance System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Brubaker, T. A. (2013). Servant leadership, Ubuntu, and leader effectiveness in Rwanda. Emerging Leadership Journeys, 6(1), 95–131 (© 2013 Regent University School of Business & Leadership).Google Scholar
  2. Daily, C., Dalton, D., & Cannella, A. (2003). Corporate governance: Decades of dialogue and data. Academy of Management Review, 28(3), 371–382.Google Scholar
  3. Darty-Baah, K., & Tawiah, K. A. (2011). Exploring the limits of Western Corporate Social Responsibility theories in Africa. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2(18), 126–137.Google Scholar
  4. Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1998). The Landscape of Qualitative Research. Theories and Issues. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  5. Gade, B. N. (2011). The historical development of the written discourses on Ubuntu. South African Journal of Philosophy, 30(3), 304–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gstrauntlhaler, T. (2010). Corporate governance in South Africa: The introduction of King III and reporting practices at the JSE ALT-X. Corporate Ownership and Control, 7(3), 146–155.Google Scholar
  7. Guba, E. G., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1994). Naturalistic inquiry. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  8. Howell, K. E. (2006). Worldviews, moral templates, scripts, symbols & norms: Welsh culture & the role of the National Assembly for Wales. Public Policy & Administration Autumn. Google Scholar
  9. Howell, K. E. (2007). Cultural perspectives in the National Assembly for Wales: Identifying path-dependency, critical moments and critical junctures. Contemporary Wales. In An annual review of economic, political and social research (Vol. 19, pp. 38–56). Cardiff: University of Wales Press.Google Scholar
  10. Howell, K. E., & Letza, S. (2000). Virtue, Virtu, categorical imperative and the civic constitution: Defining corporate governance. Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, 11, 95-104.Google Scholar
  11. Howell, K. E., & Preston, J. (2001). The state of the Union in 2001. The UACES 31st Annual Conference and 6th Research Conference on Historical Institutionalism, Europeanization and the National Assembly of Wales; A Preliminary Study, University of Bristol, 3–5 September 2001.Google Scholar
  12. Kant, I. (1969). Fundamental principles of the metaphysic of ethics. London, UK: Longmans Green and Co Ltd.Google Scholar
  13. Kellner, D. (1990). Critical theory and the crisis of social theory. Sociological Perspectives, 33(1), 11–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. McAllister, P. (2009). Ubuntu – Beyond belief in Southern Africa. Sites: New Series, 6(1), 15–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ndondo, S., & Mhlanga, D (2014). Philosophy for children: A model for Unhu/Ubuntu philosophy. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 4(2), 1–5.Google Scholar
  16. Khomba, J. K., Bakuwa, R. C., & Kangaude-Ulaya, E. C. (2013). Shaping business ethics and corporate governance: An inclusive African Ubuntu Philosophy. Global Journal of Management and Business Research and Administration, 13(5).Google Scholar
  17. Khomba, J. K., & Ulaya, C. K. (2013). Indigenisation of corporate strategies in Africa: Lessons from the African Ubuntu Philosophy. China-USA Business Review, 12(7), 672–689.Google Scholar
  18. King Report on Corporate Governance in South Africa. (2002). Institute of Directors. Johannesburg, South Africa (March 2002). Accessed 3 June 2015.
  19. King Report iii. (2009). King code of governance for South Africa 2009. (Online) Available from: Accessed 3 June 2015.
  20. Lanoo, K. (1999). A European perspective on corporate governance. Journal of Common Market Studies, 37(2), 269–294.Google Scholar
  21. Letza, S., & Sun, X. (2004). Shareholding versus stakeholding: A critical review of corporate governance. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 12(3), 242–262.Google Scholar
  22. Letza, S., & Sun, X. (2004). Philosophical and paradoxical issues in corporate governance. International Journal Business Governance and Ethics, X(Y), 1–14.Google Scholar
  23. Mukusha, J. (2012). Business nakedness in the absence of good corporate governance: A case for sustainability in the 21st century and beyond. Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa, 14(2).Google Scholar
  24. Munyaka, M., & Motlabi, M. (2009). Ubuntu and its socio-moral significance. In M. F. Murove (Ed.), African ethic: An anthology of comparative and applied ethics. Scottsville: University of Kwazulu-Natal Press.Google Scholar
  25. Mudashiru, A., Bakare, A. O. I., Babatunde, Y., & Ishmael, O. (2014). Good corporate governance and organisational performance: An empirical analysis. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 4, 7(1).Google Scholar
  26. Mucina, D. D. (2013). Ubuntu orality as a living philosophy. The Journal of Pan African Studies, 6(4).Google Scholar
  27. Nussbaum, B. (2003). Ubuntu and business: Reflections and questions. World Business Academy, 17(3), 2–16.Google Scholar
  28. OECD. (2004). Principles of Corporate Governance. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  29. Oppenheim, C. E. (2012). Nelson Mandela and the power of Ubuntu. Religions, 2012(3), 369–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Okari, H., Keraro, V., & Kiambati, H. (2012). The principle of participation in corporate governance; An African perspective. IJMBS, 2(3), 24–28.Google Scholar
  31. Okeahalam, C., & Akinboade, O. A. (2003). A review of corporate governance in Africa: Literature, issues and challenge. Global Corporate Governance Forum.Google Scholar
  32. Popper, K. R. (1994). The myth of the framework: In Defence of Science and Rationality. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. Robinson, A. (2002). Is Corporate Governance The Solution or The Problem? Corporate Board, 07468652, March/April 2002, Volume 23, Issue 133.Google Scholar
  34. Shleifer, A., & Vishny, R. W. (1997). A survey of corporate governance. The Journal of Finance, LII(2).Google Scholar
  35. Shepherd, N., & Mhlanga, D. (2012). Philosophy for children: A model for Unhu/Ubuntu Philosophy. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 4(2), 1–5.Google Scholar
  36. Sibanda, P. (2014). The dimensions of ‘Hunhu/Ubuntu. (Humanism in the African Sense): The Zimbabwe Conception’. IOSR Journal of Engineering, 04(01), 26–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Steinberg, E. (2000). Just business: Business ethics in action (2nd ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Stewart, N. (2010). An audience with the ‘GRI’s Mervin King’. IR Magazine. Cross Border Ltd. Accessed 20 June 2015.
  39. Tricker, B. (2012). Corporate governance: Principles, policies and practices (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Turyahikayo, E. (2014). Corporate governance vulnerability in Africa: Do African values matter? International Journal of Capacity Building in Education and Management, 2(2), 62–70.Google Scholar
  41. West, A. (2006). Theorising South Africa’s corporate governance. Journal of Business Ethics, 2006(68), 433–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National University of Science and Technology-Institute of Development StudiesBulawayoZimbabwe

Personalised recommendations