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Board of directors’ attributes and corporate outcomes: A systematic literature review and future research agenda

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  • Lu, Yun
  • Ntim, Collins G.
  • Zhang, Qingjing
  • Li, Pingli

Abstract

This paper provides a comprehensive systematic literature review (SLR) of existing international accounting and finance research on the structure, characteristics, and diversity of corporate boards (SCDBs), as well as their effects on the corresponding corporate outcomes. Emphasis is particularly placed on synthesising and expanding current knowledge from both theoretical (i.e., economic and governance, regulatory, resource-oriented, and psychological/sociological) and empirical (i.e., multi-level antecedents of SCDBs and various themes of SCDB-related corporate outcomes) perspectives. Adopting the SLR method, we review 511 articles from 69 journals between the years 1973 and 2020. Our main findings are as follows. First, the majority of the papers in our SLR are descriptive in nature and/or use a single traditional theory (e.g., agency theory), rather than adopting an integrated multi-theoretical approach. Second, studies on the determinants or antecedents of SCDBs are scarce and have tended to focus on firm- and board-level issues rather than on institutional- and individual-level issues. Third, given the absence of cross-country, mixed-methods, and qualitative investigations, current articles in our SLR suffer from methodological constraints, such as inconsistent definition and measurement, insufficient variables, and repetitive quantitative research methods. Finally, opportunities and a future research agenda are explored and outlined.

Suggested Citation

  • Lu, Yun & Ntim, Collins G. & Zhang, Qingjing & Li, Pingli, 2022. "Board of directors’ attributes and corporate outcomes: A systematic literature review and future research agenda," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finana:v:84:y:2022:i:c:s105752192200374x
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irfa.2022.102424
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