An investigation of the roles and responsibilities of the board of directors in the Libyan banking sector

Shalba, A., 2016. An investigation of the roles and responsibilities of the board of directors in the Libyan banking sector. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Since the financial crisis of 2008, corporate governance (CG) has been the focus of much attention in the developed countries. One of the main priorities of governments in these countries has been to implement CG mechanisms that will improve the practice and effectiveness of boards of directors. But while much has been written about CG in developed countries, developing countries represent relatively untravelled territory in terms of CG research. Libya is the largest oil producer in Africa and its oil revenues form a steady stream of income for the country. However, the country ranks low in terms of international measures of governance. As an Islamic state, with a population that is approximately 97 per cent Sunni Muslim, the prevailing culture, systems, rules and regulations are all profoundly influenced by Islamic precepts. Indeed, the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) has taken steps towards developing a dual system of conventional and Islamic banking. As such, CG and boards of directors (BODs) in the banking sector are highly influenced by Shari’ah law and Shari'ah supervisory boards (SSBs). This research aims to examine the practices, roles and responsibilities of BODs in the Libyan banking sector (LBS) and to identify the factors that facilitate or hinder boards in carrying out these roles and responsibilities. Achieving this overarching aim will help bridge a gap in knowledge in terms of the roles and functions of Libyan boards of directors. To this end, the research investigates boardroom norms in the banking sector in the context of the board’s strategic, service and control and monitoring roles. The main goals of this research are to contribute to current literature and to provide insights that can be applied to corporate governance practice in Libya and, more broadly, the country’s economic development. The study adopts a pragmatic paradigm to address its central research questions. A mixed-method approach was employed: quantitative data was collected by means of a questionnaire survey, while semi-structured interviews were conducted to qualitatively explore the social processes that shape the roles of boards. 227 questionnaires were distributed to 16 Libyan banks (6 public, 6 private and 4 Libyan/foreign). 24 semi-structured, in-depth interviews were then conducted with board members from each bank in the sample; interviewees included chairmen, CEOs and independent non-executive directors. The analysis revealed that a number of key international CG regulations and structural features are already in place in the LBS. Drawing on the work done by other researchers in developed economies and the results from this research, the researcher developed a framework to explain board roles in general and how they operate in practice in the LBS. The findings indicate that BODs are perceived as playing an important strategic role and that most Libyan directors enjoy this role more than the control and service roles. The framework pays particular attention to the internal and external factors that impact upon board performance such as board size, CEO duality, board independence and board diversity. The impact of SSBs is also explored, shedding more light on the roles and responsibilities of the BOD in the context of the Islamic banking system. This study contributes to both theory and practice, providing some useful insights that will bolster the CG literature on developing countries and improve our understanding of BOD roles. The findings also support the Libyan government’s reformist agenda, the aim of which is to create a more attractive and effective investment environment.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Shalba, A.
Date: 2016
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 10 Aug 2016 08:50
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2016 08:50

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