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Knights and dames on the board of directors

Michelle Li (Department of Accounting and Finance, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)
Diandian Ma (Graduate School of Management, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)
Tom Scott (Accounting Department, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand)

Accounting Research Journal

ISSN: 1030-9616

Article publication date: 1 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

New Zealand reintroduced titular honours (i.e. knighthoods and damehoods) in 2009. We document the prevalence of knights and dames on the board of directors.

Design/methodology/approach

We use a probit regression to investigate what firm characteristics are significantly associated with having a knight or dame on the board of directors.

Findings

We find 19 of 112 companies have a knight or dame on the board. These companies are bigger and have larger and more independent boards than other companies. We also find a knight or dame is more likely to serve in companies that have higher dividend yields.

Research limitations/implications

The generalisability of our results is limited by the small number of knights and dames on the boards of listed companies and our archival regression approach. Although we document an association, we cannot prove causation.

Originality/value

We show that directors with greater and easily visible reputational capital are more likely to supply their services to companies that mitigate risks to their reputation and protect minority shareholder interests.

Keywords

Citation

Li, M., Ma, D. and Scott, T. (2019), "Knights and dames on the board of directors", Accounting Research Journal, Vol. 32 No. 2, pp. 295-310. https://doi.org/10.1108/ARJ-06-2017-0100

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited