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Agency Theory in Practice: A Qualitative Study of Hedge Fund Activism in Japan

Author

Listed:
  • John Buchanan
  • Dominic Heesang Chai
  • Simon Deakin

Abstract

We look at the reaction to hedge fund activism of managers and shareholders in Japanese firms and explore the implications of our findings for agency theory. We use a qualitative research design which treats the standard agency-theoretical model of the firm as only one possible approach to understanding corporate governance, to be tested through empirical research, rather than as an assumption built into the analysis. We find that Japanese managers do not generally regard themselves as the shareholders' agents and that, conversely, shareholders in Japanese firms do not generally behave as principals. Our findings suggest that the standard principal-agent model may be a weak fit for firms in certain national contexts.

Suggested Citation

  • John Buchanan & Dominic Heesang Chai & Simon Deakin, 2013. "Agency Theory in Practice: A Qualitative Study of Hedge Fund Activism in Japan," Working Papers wp448, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp448
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    6. April Klein & Emanuel Zur, 2009. "Entrepreneurial Shareholder Activism: Hedge Funds and Other Private Investors," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(1), pages 187-229, February.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corporate Governance; Agency Theory; Japan; Hedge Funds; Shareholder Activism;

    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law

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