More than two decades after the Cadbury Report: How far has Sweden, as role model for corporate-governance practices, come?

  • Leona AchtenhagenEmail author
  • Petra Inwinkl
  • Jacob Björktorp
  • Robert Källenius
Original Article


The purpose of this study is to follow up on the ‘comply-or-explain’ principle more than two decades after the Cadbury Report was published. We investigate the rate of compliance and quality of explanations provided in case of non-compliance in the context of Sweden. This country has been pointed out as a role model for corporate-governance practices. The empirical study comprises the 241 companies listed on Nasdaq OMX Stockholm in 2014. We analyze the quality of the explanations in the light of the Swedish Corporate Governance Code. Our findings confirm that the comply-or-explain principle in Sweden is effective. Around half of the companies use the possibility to deviate from the Code. A clear majority of the explanations, 71.8%, are informative. This study provides insights for academic scholars and policy-makers alike how the comply-or-explain principle works in a country that is viewed as a role model for how corporate governance should be implemented. In addition, the high-quality explanations provided by listed companies on Nasdaq OMX Stockholm can serve as an inspiration for other listed companies in European countries, thereby outlining a contribution to business practice.


Comply-or-explain Swedish Corporate Governance Code Nasdaq OMX 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leona Achtenhagen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Petra Inwinkl
    • 1
  • Jacob Björktorp
    • 1
  • Robert Källenius
    • 1
  1. 1.Jönköping International Business School (JIBS), Media, Management and Transformation Centre (MMTC), Centre for Family Enterprise and Ownership (CeFEO)Jönköping UniversityJönköpingSweden

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