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The impact of board size on firm performance: evidence from the UK

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  • Paul Guest

Abstract

We examine the impact of board size on firm performance for a large sample of 2746 UK listed firms over 1981-2002. The UK provides an interesting institutional setting, because UK boards play a weak monitoring role and therefore any negative effect of large board size is likely to reflect the malfunction of the board's advisory rather than monitoring role. We find that board size has a strong negative impact on profitability, Tobin's Q and share returns. This result is robust across econometric models that control for different types of endogeneity. We find no evidence that firm characteristics that determine board size in the UK lead to a more positive board size-firm performance relation. In contrast, we find that the negative relation is strongest for large firms, which tend to have larger boards. Overall, our evidence supports the argument that problems of poor communication and decision-making undermine the effectiveness of large boards.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal The European Journal of Finance.

Volume (Year): 15 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 385-404

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Handle: RePEc:taf:eurjfi:v:15:y:2009:i:4:p:385-404

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Related research

Keywords: corporate governance; board size; firm performance; endogeneity; UK;

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Cited by:
  1. Collins G. Ntim, 2012. "Director shareownership and corporate performance in South Africa," African Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 1(4), pages 359-373.
  2. Victor-Octavian Müller & Ionel-Alin Ienciu & Carmen Giorgiana Bonaci & Crina Ioana Filip, 2014. "Board Characteristics Best Practices and Financial Performance. Evidence from the European Capital Market," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 16(36), pages 672, May.
  3. Ntim, collins g & Opong, kwaku k & Danbolt, jo, 2010. "Corporate governance, affirmative action and firm value: evidence from post-apartheid South African firms," MPRA Paper 32297, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 04 Aug 2011.
  4. Ntim, Collins G. & Lindop, Sarah & Thomas, Dennis A., 2013. "Corporate governance and risk reporting in South Africa: A study of corporate risk disclosures in the pre- and post-2007/2008 global financial crisis periods," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 363-383.
  5. Glenn Boyle & Glenn Boyle and Xu (Jane) Ji, 2011. "New Zealand Corporate Boards in Transition: Composition, Activity and Incentives Between 1995 and 2010," Working Papers in Economics 11/36, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
  6. Ntim, Collins G., 2011. "The Impact of Corporate Board Meetings on Corporate Performance in South Africa," MPRA Paper 45814, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Driver, Ciaran & Guedes, Maria João Coelho, 2012. "Research and development, cash flow, agency and governance: UK large companies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1565-1577.
  8. Nakano, Makoto & Nguyen, Pascal, 2012. "Board size and corporate risk-taking: Further evidence from Japan," MPRA Paper 38990, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Ntim, Collins G., 2011. "The King Reports, Independent Non-Executive Directors and Firm Valuation on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange," MPRA Paper 45812, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Szymon Kaczmarek & Satomi Kimino & Annie Pye, 2014. "Interlocking directorships and firm performance in highly regulated sectors: the moderating impact of board diversity," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 347-372, May.

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