Perceptions of independent directors about their roles of and challenges on corporate boards: Evidence from a survey in Vietnam

Thi Tuyet Mai Nguyen*, Elaine Evans, Meiting Lu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the perceptions of independent directors in Vietnam about their roles and challenges when sitting on the boards of listed companies.

Design/methodology/approach: The study uses mailed questionnaires to collect data. The authors sent surveys to 810 independent directors from 354 listed companies and received feedback from 170 respondents.

Findings: The authors examine several aspects of independent directors’ work on the board (such as the roles of and challenges for independent directors) as well as board environment (such as information provision or board interaction). Findings suggest that independent directors in Vietnam place more emphasis on their advisory role than their monitoring role. In addition, they also point out their challenges including information asymmetries and the influence of controlling shareholders. These challenges are significant and they prevent independent directors to properly execute their independent role on the board. These findings reflect the unique features of corporate governance in transition economies.

Originality/value: The authors contribute to the literature through providing an insightful view about the nature of the work performed by this type of director in a transition economy. The study is also one of the first studies to use a qualitative instrument to provide an explanation of how controlling shareholders influence independent directors on boards of directors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-96
Number of pages28
JournalAsian Review of Accounting
Issue number1
Early online date2019
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2019


  • Corporate governance
  • Independent directors
  • Information asymmetries
  • Ownership concentration
  • Vietnam


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