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Evidence on Irish financial directors' views about dividends

Thomas McCluskey (Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland)
Bruce Burton (University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland, UK)
David Power (University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland, UK)

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management

ISSN: 1176-6093

Article publication date: 12 June 2007

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to provide a modern perspective on the role of dividends in smaller developed countries such as Ireland by examining views regarding the determinants of payout levels, the role of taxation and the relevance of conventional signalling theory.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employs semi‐structured interviews with the financial directors of 20 leading Irish companies.

Findings

The results suggest support for the notion that dividend policy affects share valuations. However, views regarding this issue – and the role of taxation and signalling theory – vary markedly between quoted and unquoted firms as well as depending on firms' dividend histories.

Research limitations/implications

The study suffers from the problem that in interview‐based research the participants are necessarily a self‐selecting group. Notwithstanding this point, the evidence suggests that the views of managers in a nation with a small, but highly developed, stock market are in line with those in countries with much larger exchanges. Further research could usefully extend the analysis and establish whether similar views exist in other countries with relatively small stock markets, but where the exchange is in an “emerging” rather than “developed” state.

Originality/value

The contribution of the paper comes from the uniqueness of the Irish setting: the Irish market is relatively small but, unlike many similarly sized markets, it is highly‐developed, with long‐term historical links to the London Stock Exchange. The results, therefore, provide evidence about the extent to which earlier findings based on the world's largest developed markets also prevail in those that are more modestly sized.

Keywords

Citation

McCluskey, T., Burton, B. and Power, D. (2007), "Evidence on Irish financial directors' views about dividends", Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 115-132. https://doi.org/10.1108/11766090710754196

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited