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Exit, Voice, and the Role of Corporate Directors: Evidence from Acquisition Performance

  • William O. Brown, Jr.

    (Claremont McKenna College)

  • Michael T. Maloney

    (Clemson University)

This study examines the characteristics of corporate boards for 82 companies that attempted 106 acquisitions during the 1980s. We find that poor performance is more likely to occur in firms that have recently experienced higher turnover of outside and lower turnover of inside directors. Companies with smaller boards, more reputable members, and larger equity holdings also outperform their counterparts. Our results do not suggest that more outside directors lead to improved performance but that outsiders often resign from the board instead of challenging managerial shirking. We conclude that choosing directors for whom board exit is costly will better reduce agency costs.

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Paper provided by Claremont Colleges in its series Claremont Colleges Working Papers with number 1999-27.

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Handle: RePEc:clm:clmeco:1999-27
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  1. Jensen, Michael C, 1993. " The Modern Industrial Revolution, Exit, and the Failure of Internal Control Systems," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(3), pages 831-80, July.
  2. Agrawal, Anup & Knoeber, Charles R., 1996. "Firm Performance and Mechanisms to Control Agency Problems between Managers and Shareholders," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(03), pages 377-397, September.
  3. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1988. "Management ownership and market valuation : An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 293-315, January.
  4. Weisbach, Michael S., 1988. "Outside directors and CEO turnover," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 431-460, January.
  5. Demsetz, Harold, 1983. "The Structure of Ownership and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 375-90, June.
  6. Hermalin, B.E. & Weisbech, M.S., 1991. "The Effects of Board Composition and Direct Incentives on Firm Performance," Papers 91-02, Rochester, Business - Financial Research and Policy Studies.
  7. Byrd, John W. & Hickman, Kent A., 1992. "Do outside directors monitor managers? *1: Evidence from tender offer bids," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 195-221, October.
  8. Demsetz, Harold & Lehn, Kenneth, 1985. "The Structure of Corporate Ownership: Causes and Consequences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1155-77, December.
  9. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-25, June.
  10. Brickley, James A. & Coles, Jeffrey L. & Terry, Rory L., 1994. "Outside directors and the adoption of poison pills," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 371-390, June.
  11. Mitchell, Mark L & Lehn, Kenneth, 1990. "Do Bad Bidders Become Good Targets?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 372-98, April.
  12. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-95, December.
  13. Klein, April, 1998. "Firm Performance and Board Committee Structure," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 275-303, April.
  14. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
  15. Yermack, David, 1996. "Higher market valuation of companies with a small board of directors," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 185-211, February.
  16. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Agency Problems and Residual Claims," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 327-49, June.
  17. Anup Agrawal & Charles R. Knoeber, . "Firm Performance and Mechanisms to Control Agency Problems between Managers and Shareholders (Revision of 29-94)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 8-96, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  18. Baysinger, Barry D & Butler, Henry N, 1985. "Corporate Governance and the Board of Directors: Performance Effects of Changes in Board Composition," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 101-24, Spring.
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