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Principal-principal-agency relationships and the role of external governance

Author

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  • Damian Ward

    (Bradford University School of Management, Bradford, UK)

  • Igor Filatotchev

    (CASS Business School, London, UK)

Abstract

This paper explores agency problems associated with mutual and joint stock organizational forms. It examines whether the independent mode of distribution acts as a governance factor that reduces principal-agent and principal-principal costs. By analyzing a 1990-1997 panel of life insurance companies this paper provides evidence that mutuals have higher principal-agent costs, but lower principal-principal costs, compared with stocks. Independent distribution mitigates both agency problems by reducing managerial expenses while safeguarding interests of policyholders. These relationships are positively moderated by product complexity and free cash flow. This is consistent with the assumption that companies that use independent agents exhibit lower levels of manager and shareholder opportunism. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Damian Ward & Igor Filatotchev, 2010. "Principal-principal-agency relationships and the role of external governance," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(4), pages 249-261.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:31:y:2010:i:4:p:249-261
    DOI: 10.1002/mde.1473
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/mde.1473
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Massimo Colombo & Annalisa Croce & Samuele Murtinu, 2014. "Ownership structure, horizontal agency costs and the performance of high-tech entrepreneurial firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 265-282, February.
    2. repec:eee:jbrese:v:81:y:2017:i:c:p:130-143 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Shujun Ding & Chunxin Jia & Yuanshun Li & Zhenyu Wu, 2010. "Reactivity and Passivity After Enforcement Actions: Better Late Than Never," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 95(2), pages 337-359, September.
    4. Vining, Aidan R. & Richards, John, 2016. "Indigenous economic development in Canada: Confronting principal-agent and principal–principal problems to reduce resource rent dissipation," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 358-367.

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