How board diversity affects firm performance in emerging markets: evidence on channels in controlled firms
Ararat, Melsa and Aksu, Mine Hatice and Tansel Çetin, Ayşe (2014) How board diversity affects firm performance in emerging markets: evidence on channels in controlled firms. (Accepted/In Press)
ABSTRACT Manuscript Type: Empirical Research Question/Issue: We investigate the indirect effect of board’s demographic diversity on firm performance via board monitoring in a context where boards are relatively homogenous with respect to structural diversity, using data from Turkey. We contextualize our investigation by exploring the influence of ownership configurations on the effect of diversity. Research Findings/Insights: We find a positive and non-linear relationship between demographic diversity and performance, mediated by the board’s monitoring efforts. The effect of monitoring is found to be contingent upon (moderated by) the controlling shareholders’ propensity to expropriate, measured by the deviation of control rights from cash flow rights, i.e. the wedge. We report that demographic diversity enhances firm performance by mitigating the negative effect of wedge on board monitoring. Theoretical/Academic Implications: Our results provide empirical support for the importance of contextual factors in the relationship between diversity and performance. Our framework and t confound diversity and board-monitoring indices we constructed may prove useful to researchers. Practitioner/Policy Implications: Regulators can use our findings in formulating recommendations or regulations related to desirable characteristics of boards. Our results are also instructive for investors and proxy advisors and indicate that the mere existence of monitoring vehicles may be insufficient to prevent expropriation by dominant shareholders, but diverse boards may mitigate the propensity to expropriate. Board members and shareholders should also benefit from the findings in creating boards that are more diligent monitors.
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