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The role of the gender diversity of audit committees in modelling the quality of management earnings forecasts of initial public offers in Malaysia

Mohammed Abdullah Ammer (Department of Finance, College of Business Administration, King Faisal University, Al-Hasa, Saudi Arabia)
Nurwati A. Ahmad-Zaluki (Othman Yeop Abdullah Graduate School of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Kedah, Malaysia)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 7 August 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Presently, one of the major governance issues faced by management and shareholders of organizations is the gender composition of the boards of directors and audit committees. This study aims to examine the impact of gender diversity in audit committees on the accuracy of management earnings forecasts disclosure in initial public offering (IPO) prospectuses.

Design/methodology/approach

The study sample comprises 190 Malaysian companies issuing IPOs that transformed into public companies during the period 2002-2012. Earnings forecasts accuracy (quality) is proxied by absolute forecast error and the study model is developed based on the frameworks of the signalling theory, the agency theory and the resource-dependence theory.

Findings

The study proposes that female directors introduce a set of specific features in the boardroom that serve to improve investor protection and efficient monitoring of management. However, findings reveal an insignificantly positive relationship between gender diversity in audit committees and absolute forecast error, which shows that more female directors in audit committees could translate into more errors and less accuracy in earnings forecasts.

Practical implications

Considering the recent regulatory developments that encourage the number of women on the board of directors, the findings obtained have significant implications for policymakers. The study findings can also be invaluable to investors, investment analysts, market players and researchers.

Originality/value

The composition of the board of directors and audit committees in terms of gender plays a significant role in the promotion of effective corporate governance practices. This study is one of the pioneering studies that examines the advantages of gender diversity in the board of directors. It is also the first study to extend IPO literature by investigating the role of gender diversity in audit committees in the enhancement of accurate management earnings forecasts included in the IPO prospectuses.

Keywords

Citation

Ammer, M.A. and Ahmad-Zaluki, N.A. (2017), "The role of the gender diversity of audit committees in modelling the quality of management earnings forecasts of initial public offers in Malaysia", Gender in Management, Vol. 32 No. 6, pp. 420-440. https://doi.org/10.1108/GM-09-2016-0157

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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