• Syahrina ‘Adliana Abdul Halim Faculty of Administrative Science and Policy Studies, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Kampus Seremban Tiga, Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.
  • Norziana Lokman Accounting Research Institute & Faculty of Administrative Science and Policy Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam Selangor, Malaysia.
  • Sarina Othman Faculty Administrative Science and Policy Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam Selangor, Malaysia.


Background and Purpose: Company secretary roles are increasingly gaining attention and recognition globally. However, research on corporate governance and board effectiveness lacks a comprehensive and systematic review from the company secretary role. Most research to date has been focused on the role of other corporate governance actors, namely, CEOs, directors, and auditors. In this present systematic literature review, we address this deficiency.


Methodology: This paper adopted a systematic literature review approach. We used two indexed databases, Scopus and Web of Science, to analyse the articles written on corporate governance, company secretary and board effectiveness. A total of 121 articles published in these fields were examined, and after rigorous analysis, only 18 articles from which met the inclusion criteria were included.


Findings: Our findings reveal that only a few corporate governance research has investigated the role of company secretary in enhancing board effectiveness (board structure, board process and board practices). The thematic analysis conducted identified seven key roles of the company secretary. The roles are to: (1) support the chairman of the board; (2) provide advice and act as a confidant to the board of directors; (3) facilitate and manage the board of directors and board committee process; (4) liaise between the board and management; (5) manage information asymmetry and enhance transparency; (6) ensure compliance with laws, regulations, corporate governance code and best practices, and (7) manage company relations.


Contributions: The analysis in this paper presents four key findings - types of articles, geographical location, theory, and company secretary roles that reflect the research gaps present in the corporate governance literature, thus highlighting significant future research avenues.


Keywords: Board effectiveness, company secretary, corporate governance, roles, systematic literature review.


Cite as: Halim, S. A. A, Lokman, N., & Othman, S. (2023). Corporate governance and board effectiveness: A systematic literature review of the company secretary role. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 8(TI), 209-234.


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How to Cite
Abdul Halim, S. ‘Adliana, Lokman, N., & Othman, S. (2023). CORPORATE GOVERNANCE AND BOARD EFFECTIVENESS: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF THE COMPANY SECRETARY ROLE. Journal of Nusantara Studies (JONUS), 8(3), 209-234.