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Do CEO characteristics explain firm performance in India?

Rupinder Kaur (University School of Financial Studies, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India)
Balwinder Singh (University School of Financial Studies, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India)

Journal of Strategy and Management

ISSN: 1755-425X

Article publication date: 8 August 2019

Issue publication date: 8 August 2019




The center of concern of this empirical paper is the connection between chief executive officer (CEO) characteristics and firm performance. The paper aims to discuss this issue.


The paper inquires into the hypothesis on the relationship between CEO characteristics (demographic and professional) and accounting measures of firm value. The study is based on second-hand information comprising of Nifty 500 firms for a period of five years ranging from 2012 to 2016. Panel regressions are run on the final sample composed of 1,535 observations to test the hypothesized relationship.


The stated findings specify that long-tenured CEOs and firms led by female CEOs are negatively related to firm performance. Moreover, the authors find that the greater the CEO share ownership, higher the firm performance stands. Further, duality and foreign CEOs make a significant contribution when firm value is based on ROA. Results also show that CEO outside directorships have a noteworthy positive relationship with ROE.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are limited to non-financial listed companies of the index. Future research can also experiment with financial and unlisted companies to have a different perspective.

Practical implications

The study may provide worthwhile insights to shareholders as they largely seek to hire the most capable CEOs with the relevant combination of skills to achieve shareholders’ goals and improve the Indian competitive power in the global market.


This paper provides a comprehensive picture by inculcating different CEO traits especially in a progressing nation like India with a unique set of economic, political and cultural environment.



Kaur, R. and Singh, B. (2019), "Do CEO characteristics explain firm performance in India?", Journal of Strategy and Management, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 409-426.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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