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Going overboard? On busy directors and firm value

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  • Cashman, George D.
  • Gillan, Stuart L.
  • Jun, Chulhee

Abstract

The literature disagrees on the link between so-called busy boards (where many independent directors hold multiple board seats) and firm performance. Some argue that busyness certifies a director’s ability and that such directors are value enhancing. Others argue that “over-boarded” directors are ineffective and detract from firm value. We find evidence that (1) the disparate results in prior work stem from differences in both sample composition and empirical design, (2) on balance the results suggest a negative association between board busyness and firm performance, and (3) the inclusion of firm fixed effects dramatically affects the conclusions drawn from, and the explanatory power of, multivariate analyses. We also explore alternative empirical definitions of what constitutes a busy director and find that commonly used proxies for busyness perform well relative to more complex alternatives.

Suggested Citation

  • Cashman, George D. & Gillan, Stuart L. & Jun, Chulhee, 2012. "Going overboard? On busy directors and firm value," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 3248-3259.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:36:y:2012:i:12:p:3248-3259
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbankfin.2012.07.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander Muravyev & Oleksandr Talavera & Charlie Weir, 2016. "Performance effects of appointing other firms’ executive directors to corporate boards: an analysis of UK firms," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 25-45, January.
    2. Rebérioux, Antoine & Roudaut, Gwenael, 2016. "Gender Quota inside the Boardroom: Female Directors as New Key Players?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1603, CEPREMAP.
    3. repec:eee:corfin:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:428-466 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Colonnello, Stefano & Curatola, Giuliano & Hoang, Ngoc Giang, 2017. "Direct and indirect risk-taking incentives of inside debt," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 428-466.
    5. Chen, Li-Yu & Lai, Jung-Ho & Chen, Carl R., 2015. "Multiple directorships and the performance of mergers & acquisitions," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 178-198.
    6. Adams, Mike & Jiang, Wei, 2016. "Do outside directors influence the financial performance of risk-trading firms? Evidence from the United Kingdom (UK) insurance industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 36-51.
    7. repec:eee:jebusi:v:92:y:2017:i:c:p:63-79 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Eckbo, B Espen & Nygaard, Knut & Thorburn, Karin S, 2016. "Does gender-balancing the board reduce firm value?," CEPR Discussion Papers 11176, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Fernández Méndez, Carlos & Pathan, Shams & Arrondo García, Rubén, 2015. "Monitoring capabilities of busy and overlap directors: Evidence from Australia," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 35(PA), pages 444-469.
    10. Chakravarty, Sugato & Rutherford, Leann G., 2017. "Do busy directors influence the cost of debt? An examination through the lens of takeover vulnerability," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 429-443.
    11. repec:pal:jbkreg:v:18:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1057_s41261-016-0037-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Field, Laura & Lowry, Michelle & Mkrtchyan, Anahit, 2013. "Are busy boards detrimental?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 63-82.
    13. Pandey, Rakesh & Vithessonthi, Chaiporn & Mansi, Mansi, 2015. "Busy CEOs and the performance of family firms," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 144-166.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corporate governance; Boards of directors; Busy directors;

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • G39 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Other

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