Three Essays on the Role of Corporate Governance in Firms' Spending on R&D and Controlling Earnings-Management Practices: The Role of Independent Directors’ Tenure and Network in Controlling Earnings-Management Practices; The Impact of Board Diversity on the Corporate Propensity to R&D Spending; The Association between Directors’ Multiple-Board Sittings, Tenure, Financial Expertise, and R&D Spending
Independent directors’ network
Phases in tenure
Real earnings management
True board independence
The University of Bradford theses are licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.
InstitutionUniversity of Bradford
DepartmentFaculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences
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AbstractThis thesis comprises three research essays. The study documents empirical evidence around the research themes by analysing a sample of the UK’s listed non-financial firms from 2005 to 2018. It applied panel data analysis (fixed or random effects) techniques and the potential endogeneity issue is controlled by using the two-step system, GMM. Earnings-management research holds that manipulating a firm's real activities is more damaging to its long-term growth and value than accruals manipulation. Therefore, by building on agency theory and emphasising board monitoring, first essay investigates the role of independent directors’ tenure and connection to several boards in controlling real earnings management (REM). This study finds that independent directors elected to board before appointment of current CEO are negatively associated with the level of REM. Furthermore, this research provides evidence that REM is higher in those firms whose INDs are connected to several boards at a time. Though economically insignificant in most of the models, this research also shows that the association between INDs’ tenure and REM varies with the phases of their tenure. Directors in the early stage of their tenure are observed as being less effective in controlling REM. However, as INDs’ tenure grows, they employ better oversight over management's conduct, thereby reducing REM. Contrary to this, the extended tenure of INDs is associated with higher REM. These results collectively suggest that the board monitoring role protects the stakes of shareholders/stakeholders by constraining REM; when INDs are free from the influence of CEO, they are not over-committed due to their presence on several boards, and they have moderate board tenure which is neither too short nor too long. Furthermore, drawing on collective contributions and group performance perspectives, second essay explores the role of board diversity in the firm’s R&D investment decisions. Additionally, building on a fault-line argument about a team's demographic attributes, the current research decomposes the impact of demographic and cognitive diversity on R&D spending. The research observes a positive relationship between board diversity and the level of R&D spending. Moreover, this research documents that cognitive diversity is positively associated with R&D investment. However, demographic diversity has an insignificant relationship with firms’ spending on R&D projects. Further, this study confirms that demographic diversity negatively moderates the relationship between cognitive diversity and R&D investment. These results suggest that the board's attributes as a group carry the significance to influence the decisions having strategic importance. The findings on the sub-dimensions of board diversity imply that board functional/cognitive diversity is more relevant to corporate decisions and outcomes than is demographic diversity. Based on the monitoring perspective (agency theory) and resource provision view (resource dependency theory), third essay investigates the role of independent directors’ specific attributes in the corporate propensity to R&D investment. The study documents a positive association between INDs’ moderate (median) tenure and the firm’s spending on R&D projects, but early and extended tenure is observed as being insignificant. INDs with a presence on three or fewer boards are observed to promote R&D investment. However, INDs sitting on more than three boards negatively affect the firm’s propensity to invest in R&D initiatives. Financially expert INDs are negatively associated with corporate R&D investments, suggesting that such directors may resist funding these projects beyond optimal risk level because of their expertise. These results suggest that INDs’ monitoring and advising competence improves as they spend time on the firm’s board, but that extended tenure is counterproductive as it impairs INDs’ impartiality. Furthermore, INDs’ capital (resources) accruing from connection to multiple boards is only beneficial for the firm’s strategic decisions if their monitoring role is not compromised because of their over-commitment (busyness).
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The Impact of Board Diversity on Textual Social, Environmental Disclosures, and Corporate PerformanceElshandidy, Tamer; Adkins, Roger; Sharma, Abhijit; Omara, Hossam K.A.A. (University of BradfordSchool of Management, 2021)Drawing on the notion of faultlines – a hypothetical dividing line that splits a group into two or more subgroups based on the alignment of one or more individual attributes – this thesis proposes a new approach to the measurement and assessment of board diversity to understand how high(er) performing boards can be built i.e., the multi-dimensional diversity index (MDI). The proposed MDI captures the joint effect of differences in director attributes at four diversity levels for 26,743 directors, namely: (i) surface (or baseline); (ii) identity; (iii) demographic; and (iv) meso-level. The current study uses three-stage least squares (3SLS) with a panel of 3,357 FTSE All-Share index non-financial companies from 2005 to 2018. To this end, a key implication of this study – and by extension, the proposed MDI – is that it challenges the conventional notion that boards are improved ‘enough’ by focusing on the micro-dimension and increasing stand-alone diversity attributes, such as gender. Collectively, this study’s results suggest that a well-diversified board incentivises managers to disclose more information on social and environmental activities in contrast to firms with an extreme faultline score. The results show that highly effective boards with a moderate faultline score at meso-level diversity (e.g., identity, information, and non-demographic attributes) lead to better accounting profitability, corporate value, and market-based performance. Remarkably, the present study finds that nationality diversity per se positively impacts corporate performance; in contrast, the dominance of male directors hinders firm performance significantly.
Board composition, grey directors and corporate failure in the UKHsu, Hwa-Hsien; Wu, C.Y-H. (2014-09)This study examines the effect of board composition on the likelihood of corporate failure in the UK. We consider both independent and non-independent (grey) non-executive directors (NEDs) to enhance our understanding of the impact of NEDs' personal or economic ties with the firm and its management on firm performance. We find that firms with a larger proportion of grey directors on their boards are less likely to fail. Furthermore, the probability of corporate failure is lower both when firms have a higher proportion of grey directors relative to executive directors and when they have a higher proportion of grey directors relative to independent directors. Conversely, there is a positive relationship between the likelihood of corporate failure and the proportion of independent directors on corporate boards. The findings discussed in this study support the collaborative board model and the view that corporate governance reform efforts may have over emphasised the monitoring function of independent directors and underestimated the benefits of NEDs' affiliations with the firm and its management. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Corporate governance structure and performance of Malaysian listed companies.Haniffa, Roszaini M.; Hudaib, Mohammad (2006)This study investigates the relationship between the corporate governance structure and performance of 347 companies listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE) between 1996 and 2000. We found board size and top five substantial shareholdings to be significantly associated with both market and accounting performance measures. In addition, we found a significant relationship between multiple directorships and market performance while role duality and managerial shareholdings are significantly associated with accounting performance. The result is robust with respect to controls for gearing, company size, industry membership and growth opportunities.