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Director Characteristics and Firm Performance


  • Gantenbein, Pascal

    (University of Basel)

  • Volonté, Christophe

    (University of Basel)


The traditional methodology examining optimal boards relates a simple board variable (e.g. independence or board demography) to firm performance, however, ig- noring other board characteristics. This paper investigates how the education and business experience of directors affect firm performance. The sample consists of 1,574 directorships from 224 listed firms in Switzerland. Using OLS and including control variables, the results show that graduates of minor Swiss universities are negatively related to Tobin’s Q, and industrial knowledge and Tobin’s Q are nega- tively correlated if the firm has more divisions. In addition, director fixed effects (or unobserved characteristics) are significant, but improve the explanatory power of the models only by 5 percent.

Suggested Citation

  • Gantenbein, Pascal & Volonté, Christophe, 2011. "Director Characteristics and Firm Performance," Working papers 2011/11, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  • Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2011/11

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    Cited by:

    1. Azlan Amran & Say Keat Ooi & Cheng Yew Wong & Fathyah Hashim, 2016. "Business Strategy for Climate Change: An ASEAN Perspective," Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 23(4), pages 213-227, July.
    2. Xu, Hongmei, 2013. "How much do the characteristics of independent directors and supervisory board members affect firm performance in China?," Discussion Papers of the Institute for Organisational Economics 12/2013, University of Münster, Institute for Organisational Economics.
    3. Bello Lawal, 2018. "Board Rudiments and the Executive Attitude Towards Corporate Risk-Taking," International Journal of Financial Research, International Journal of Financial Research, Sciedu Press, vol. 9(2), pages 134-149, April.

    More about this item


    Corporate governance: Board of directors; Director characteristics; Education and business experience;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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