Sustainable development has gained the attention of researchers worldwide and is becoming an important topic, especially in relation to corporate governance principles. This study investigates the influence of corporate governance on sustainable development in a sample of 185 countries over 2005–2020 using a panel linear regression model. Separate analyses are also conducted on subsamples of high- and low-income countries. Our findings highlight the positive influence of corporate governance, as measured by board efficacy, the strength of audits and reports, and digitalisation, on sustainable development, as measured by the Human Development Index, Human Capital Index, and Environmental Performance Index. Moreover, we find a higher positive and marginal effect of the influence of corporate governance on sustainable development for low-income countries than for high-income countries. The robustness checks performed using variables related to the happiness index, women in top management positions, and technology adoption verify our results. Our findings are important for managers and policymakers to consolidate sustainable development through the incentive brought about by high-quality corporate governance.
The well-being of a company should be a common interest of all engaged parties. Although researchers have long emphasised the importance of corporate governance principles (Nedelchev, 2013), Howell and Sorour (2016) raised the importance of implementing good practices to ensure organizational well-being. Hashanah and Mazlina (2005) also underlined the corporate governance elements that directly hamper the healthy development of society. Thus, implementing good corporate governance principles ensures the positive and therefore sustainable development of the business.
Various studies have analyzed the relationships between corporate governance and corporate social responsibility (CSR) (Achim et al., 2017; Crane & Matten, 2007; Kolk & Pinkse, 2010) as well as between CSR and sustainable development (Kahraman Akdogu, 2017; Truant et al., 2017). However, few studies (e.g., De Luca, 2020; Dienes et al., 2016) have investigated the direct relationship between corporate governance and sustainable development. To bridge this gap in the literature, we analyze the impact of corporate governance on social and environmental performance as well as compare the influence of corporate governance in high- and low-income countries. We use a sample of 185 countries over 2005–2020 and panel linear regressions. To validate our main results, we also check their robustness using variables such as the happiness index, women in top management positions, and technology adoption. The results show that the level of sustainable development increases when the use of corporate governance best practices increases. Moreover, we find that corporate governance has a higher impact on the low-income countries than in the high-income countries than
This study investigated the influence of corporate governance on sustainable development using a panel linear regression model applied to a sample of 185 countries over 2005–2020. Separate analyses were also conducted for high- and low-income countries. Our findings highlight the positive influence of corporate governance on sustainable development measured by the HDI, HCI, and EPI. In addition, we find a higher positive and marginal effect of the influence of corporate governance on sustainable development for low-income countries than for high-income countries.
Further, we find that high-quality public governance, a high level of urbanisation, and low unemployment increase sustainable development. Culture impacts the sustainable development of a society markedly for both high- and low-income countries, but this effect is particularly high in the latter. The robustness checks performed using the supplementary variables of the happiness index, women in top management positions, and technology adoption verify our results.