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The determinants of board size and composition: Evidence from the UK

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  • Guest, Paul M.

Abstract

This paper examines the trends and determinants of board structure for a large sample of UK firms from 1981 to 2002. We extend the predominantly US based literature in a number of important ways. Firstly, a comparative analysis of the UK and US legal and institutional settings leads us to hypothesize that UK boards will play a weaker monitoring role and hence board structures will not be determined by monitoring related factors. Our evidence supports this conjecture, showing that board structure determinants differ in predictable ways across different institutional settings. Secondly, in contrast to recent US mandatory reforms, UK reforms have been voluntary. As such they provide an interesting comparison, being arguably more effective than a mandatory approach by allowing firms to choose board structures most appropriate for their own needs. Our results support this point of view. Although the UK reforms do have a significant impact on board structures, a large number of firms choose not to comply, and those that do appear to do so for strong economic reasons. The reforms also appear to reduce the ability of well performing CEOs to influence board structures.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Corporate Finance.

Volume (Year): 14 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 51-72

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Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:14:y:2008:i:1:p:51-72

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jcorpfin

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Basil Al-Najjar, 2012. "The determinants of board meetings: evidence from categorical analysis," Journal of Applied Accounting Research, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 13(2), pages 178-190.
  2. Khaled Elsayed, 2011. "Board size and corporate performance: the missing role of board leadership structure," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 415-446, August.
  3. Andy Cosh & Paul Guest & Alan Hughes, 2007. "UK Corporate Governance and Takeover Performance," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp357, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
  4. Li, Li & Song, Frank M., 2013. "Do bank regulations affect board independence? A cross-country analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2714-2732.
  5. Muravyev, Alexander & Talavera, Oleksandr & Weir, Charlie, 2014. "Performance Effects of Appointing Other Firms' Executive Directors to Corporate Boards: An Analysis of UK Firms," IZA Discussion Papers 7962, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Ukaegbu, Ben, 2014. "The significance of working capital management in determining firm profitability: Evidence from developing economies in Africa," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 1-16.
  7. Uchida, Konari, 2011. "Does corporate board downsizing increase shareholder value? Evidence from Japan," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 562-573, October.
  8. Bell, R. Greg & Moore, Curt B. & Filatotchev, Igor, 2012. "Strategic and institutional effects on foreign IPO performance: Examining the impact of country of origin, corporate governance, and host country effects," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 197-216.
  9. Nakano, Makoto & Nguyen, Pascal, 2012. "Board size and corporate risk-taking: Further evidence from Japan," MPRA Paper 38990, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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