Antecedents of Shareholder Activism in Target Firms: Evidence from a Multi-Country Study

Corporate Governance: An International Review, Forthcoming

42 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2009 Last revised: 12 Oct 2009

See all articles by William Q. Judge

William Q. Judge

Old Dominion University

Ajai Gaur

Rutgers Business School - Newark and New Brunswick

Maureen I. Muller-Kahle

The Pennsylvania State University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 30, 2009

Abstract

This study seeks to understand target firm specific antecedents of shareholder activism, and how the causal relationships vary depending on the governance environments in a multi-country setting, comprising three common law countries (USA, UK and Australia) and three civil law countries (Japan, Germany & South Korea). Our findings suggest that the antecedents of shareholder activism vary by the motivation of the activist. We identify that activists target firms with two motives, (a) to improve the financial performance, and (b) to improve the social performance of the firm. With respect to the target firm level antecedents, we find that firm size is unrelated to financial activism, but positively related to social activism; ownership concentration is negatively related to both financial and social activism; and prior profitability is negatively related to financial activism, but positively related to social activism. Further, these relationships in the case of financial activism are generally stronger in common law legal systems, whereas those in the case of social activism are generally stronger in environments with a greater level of income inequality.

Keywords: Corporate Governance, Shareholder Activism, Financial Activism, Social Activism

Suggested Citation

Judge, William Q. and Gaur, Ajai S. and Muller-Kahle, Maureen I., Antecedents of Shareholder Activism in Target Firms: Evidence from a Multi-Country Study (September 30, 2009). Corporate Governance: An International Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1480788

William Q. Judge

Old Dominion University ( email )

Norfolk, VA 23529-0222
United States
7576836730 (Phone)

Ajai S. Gaur (Contact Author)

Rutgers Business School - Newark and New Brunswick ( email )

Newark, NJ
United States

Maureen I. Muller-Kahle

The Pennsylvania State University ( email )

PA
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
215
Abstract Views
1,164
rank
169,210
PlumX Metrics