An Analysis of the Association between Firms' Investment Opportunities, Board Composition, and Firm Performance
Posted: 31 Jan 2002
According to agency theory the corporate board is an important internal governance mechanism. Critics of corporate governance suggest that board monitoring will be more effective if boards consist primarily of independent outside directors and from increased shareholdings of directors (Kren and Kerr, 1997). However, the results of previous studies testing board effectiveness have been mixed. The purpose of this paper is to identify the variables that influence the board structure adopted by firms and the subsequent relationship to the firm's performance. The results of this study of 229 Australian firms show that firms' investment opportunities are strongly associated with a higher proportion of executive directors on the board. When testing the efficiency of the board the results show that the negative relationship between a firm's investment opportunity set and firm performance is weakened at higher levels of non-executive director board domination. The results of this study have implications for policy setters and managers of firms with investment opportunities.
Keywords: Agency theory, Corporate governance, Investment opportunity set, Firm performance
JEL Classification: D21, D82, G34, G39
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