University transformation and governance: An evaluation of King IV-fit

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The notion of transformation and governance in universities inspired this study. The study’s aims were to evaluate the extent to which King IV serves the transformation agenda of universities and provide recommendations for future King Code instalments given transformation imperatives in South Africa. Considering specific university contexts, literature provides a suite of governance models. The country’s need to achieve transformation targets brings complexities to the purest forms of governance models. A literature search strategy and simplified meta-synthesis approach were applied to transformation and governance literature. Types of transformation (Colloff et al., 2017) and seven university governance models (Baldridge, 1971; Meyer, 2007; Trakman, 2008) were reviewed. Achieving a mix of positives from various codes was found to be possible, and an enabling transformed governance mechanism was proposed, King IV’s application has transformation limitations making it less suitable as universities’ governance framework designed to attain transformation objectives. The study recommends that future instalments of the King Code need to extensively address aspects of socio-economic transformation in similar magnitudes as the current instalment does principles and practices. Additionally, universities should not be tied to one code’s provisions, universities examine and implement governance systems grounded in African cultures, and future research should be conducted around indigenous governance knowledge and systems which should shape governance models for universities.

Keywords: Governance, Transformation, Higher Education, Corporate Accountability, King Code, African, Diversity, Corporate Control

Authors’ individual contribution: The Author is responsible for all the contributions to the paper according to CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) standards.

Declaration of conflicting interests: The Author declares that there is no conflict of interest.

Acknowledgements: The Author appreciates the guidance provided by his mentor, Prof. R. T. Mpofu, and the feedback given during a roundtable discussion hosted by UNISA’s Department of Leadership and Transformation on the 6th of April 2022.

JEL Classification: G34, I23, M14

Received: 01.06.2022
Accepted: 23.01.2023
Published online: 26.01.2023

How to cite this paper: Muzata, T. (2023). University transformation and governance: An evaluation of King IV-fit. Corporate Governance and Organizational Behavior Review, 7(1), 51–63.