NATIONAL CULTURE AND TRANSPARENCY: EVIDENCE FROM ISLAMIC BANKS
Keywords:Cultural values, Shariah disclosure, Social disclosure, Islamic banks
AbstractThe purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of predominant cultural values on banking disclosure. On one hand, Islamic banks have practiced Islamic principles which are universal for all countries. Islamic banks are expected to provide transparent information especially in terms of social and Shariah(Islamic) compliant information as Islamic banks claim themselves to have social objectives as the prime consideration. Islamic banks also have Shariah supervisory body to ensure that the banking activities and business operations are in line with Islamic requirements. On the other hand, Hofstede‘s cultural dimensions and Gray‘s hypotheses have rendered remarkable contributions in financial and accounting practices among different nations. Examining 45 Islamic banks in 11 Moslem majority countries, this paper focuses on four particular cultural dimensions namely individualism/collectivism, masculinity/femininity, uncertainty avoidance, and power distance and whether these dimensions have an impact on transparency. This study found that two out of four national cultures still have significant effect on the transparency level in Moslem majority countries.
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