Corporate board structure and ESG performance: An empirical study of listed firms in the emerging market

Basit Ali Bhat ORCID logo, Manpreet Kaur Makkar ORCID logo, Nitin Gupta ORCID logo


Corporate boards are one of the crucial factors for the organization to focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) activities of firms. ESG operations provide insight into the social and environmental viability of companies. The impact of board structure on ESG varies per nation based on their economic situation and business policies. In developed nations, corporations implement ESG norms in their business strategies voluntarily, however, in India, these practices are mandated for a subset of companies. This became the motivation for the authors to explore the nexus between existing corporate board structure and ESG practices. The sample has been taken from the listed firms of the Nifty-500 index spanning the period of 10 years from 2012 to 2022. Dynamic panel data estimations are applied through a fixed effect model. The findings revealed that chief executive officer (CEO) duality has a significant negative relationship with ESG performance which goes against the belief of stakeholder theory. Whereas board size, board independence, and board qualification have a significant positive influence on ESG performance. Further findings revealed that board size has no significant effect on governance performance. Policymakers should enact new regulations on the CEO’s position in the organization, to make corporate governance responsible for improved sustainable and ESG performance.

Keywords: Corporate Governance, ESG, SDG, Panel Data, India

Authors’ individual contribution: Conceptualization — B.A.B., M.K.M., and N.G.; Methodology — B.A.B; Software — B.A.B.; Validation — N.G.; Writing — Original Draft — M.K.M.; Writing — Review & Editing — M.K.M. and N.G.; Supervision — N.G.

Declaration of conflicting interests: The Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

JEL Classification: C4, G3, G11, M1, M14, Q5

Received: 17.10.2022
Accepted: 18.05.2023
Published online: 26.05.2023

How to cite this paper: Bhat, B. A., Makkar, M. K., & Gupta, N. (2023). Corporate board structure and ESG performance: An empirical study of listed firms in the emerging market. Corporate Governance and Sustainability Review, 7(2), 8–17.

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