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Book part
Publication date: 19 April 2011

Haslindar Ibrahim and Fazilah M. Abdul Samad

This chapter examines the relationship between corporate governance and agency costs of family and non-family ownership of public listed companies in Malaysia. It presents…

Abstract

This chapter examines the relationship between corporate governance and agency costs of family and non-family ownership of public listed companies in Malaysia. It presents a longitudinal study of the 290 publicly listed companies in the Main Board of the Bursa Malaysia over the period 1999–2005.The study applies the governance mechanisms such as board size, independent director and duality as a tool in monitoring agency costs based on asset utilization ratio and expense ratio as proxy for agency costs. There is strong evidence that larger board size has a significant effect as a device in mitigating agency costs. The study supports that independent directors and duality are viewed differently by family and non-family ownership. The evidence shows that an independent director in family ownership does not influence agency costs. But non-family ownership needs more independent directors to counsel and monitor the company and thus reducing the agency conflict with shareholders. The study also finds that family ownership experiences less agency conflicts when duality role exists. Contrary, non family ownership experiences high agency costs when duality exists on board.

Details

International Corporate Governance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-916-6

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 February 2021

Tamanna Dalwai, Gopalakrishnan Chinnasamy and Syeeda Shafiya Mohammadi

The readability of annual reports is an important feature that determines the quality of communication between a firm and its stakeholders. Extant literature has…

Abstract

Purpose

The readability of annual reports is an important feature that determines the quality of communication between a firm and its stakeholders. Extant literature has demonstrated that readability characteristics of annual reports are crucial in facilitating the investor's ability to process and analyze information, resulting in higher firm performance and lower agency costs. This study examines the relationship between annual report readability, agency costs and the firm performance of listed financial sector companies in Oman.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of 150 firm-year observations of listed financial sector companies on the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) over the period 2014 to 2018, a panel regression analysis is used, along with the system generalized method of moments (GMM) estimation to address endogeneity concerns. The readability of annual reports is proxied by the length of the annual report, the Flesch reading ease and the Flesch–Kincaid index.

Findings

The ordinary least squares (OLS) results suggest that readability proxied by the length of the annual report has no significant relationship with agency cost, return on assets (ROA) or stock returns. The OLS results are confirmed through the system GMM estimation model for agency costs, Tobin's Q and stock returns. Easier-to-read annual reports measured by the Flesch reading ease demonstrate high asset utilization ratio and Tobin's Q. These results emphasize Flesch reading ease measure in explaining the economic significance of agency cost and Tobin's Q. In contrast, difficult-to-read annual reports are observed for firms with high ROA.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to the financial sector. Its generalizability could be extended to a similar sector or countries with features similar to Oman. Future studies on readability could be extended to other sectors of Oman, and financial firms with easier-to-read annual reports show a high Tobin's Q, which reflects the confidence of investors in the stock market. These findings may encourage policymakers to regulate the readability features of annual reports and influence the reporting quality of financials and disclosures also including cross-country comparisons.

Practical implications

Financial firms with easier-to-read annual reports show a high Tobin's Q, which reflects the confidence of investors in the stock market. These findings may encourage policymakers to regulate the readability features of annual reports and influence the reporting quality of financials and disclosures.

Originality/value

While the study extends prior literature on readability, agency costs and firm performance, it is also one of the first to examine the financial sector of an emerging country, namely, Oman. The study supports the obfuscation hypothesis through the association of readability measure with agency cost. Unlike prior research that has focused on common computational linguistic literature, this study uses three proxies for readability to assess information quality.

Details

Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-1168

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Article
Publication date: 21 January 2021

Jorge Andrés Muñoz Mendoza, Carmen Lissette Veloso Ramos, Sandra María Sepúlveda Yelpo, Carlos Leandro Delgado Fuentealba and Rodrigo Alberto Fuentes-Solís

The purpose of this article is to analyze the effects of accruals-based earnings management (AEM), International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) adoption and stock…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to analyze the effects of accruals-based earnings management (AEM), International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) adoption and stock market integration for firms that belong to Latin-American Integrated Market (MILA).

Design/methodology/approach

The GMM estimator was used according to Arellano and Bover (1995) for panel data on a sample of 478 non-financial companies between 2000 and 2016. Multilevel mixed models was used for the robustness analysis.

Findings

AEM practices significantly and dynamically reduce agency costs. This result suggests companies use positive discretionary accruals to hide true agency costs and avoid shareholders monitoring, while negative discretionary accruals are ways to expropriate wealth and increase agency costs. This result implies that firms use AEM as a predetermined strategy to weaken corporate governance. The IFRS adoption and MILA implementation reduced agency costs. However, only IFRS adoption had the capability to mitigate the effects of AEM on agency costs.

Originality/value

These results reveal AEM constitutes a practice that managers use to weaken firms’ corporate governance and expropriate wealth from shareholders. These practices have effects at short-run and long-run. However, the IFRS adoption and market integration represented by MILA are mitigating factors for agency costs. These results have relevant implications for firms’ corporate governance because they guide investors and shareholders to strengthen corporate control and monitoring on business decision-making. These results also are relevant to policymakers because they orient the financial policies design to strengthen the benefits of IFRS and MILA.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2020

Qurat Ul Ain, Xianghui Yuan, Hafiz Mustansar Javaid, Muhammad Usman and Muhammad Haris

The purpose of this research is to examine whether board gender diversity reduces the agency costs of firms in the context of Chinese listed firms.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to examine whether board gender diversity reduces the agency costs of firms in the context of Chinese listed firms.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a large sample of 23,340 firm-year observations of Chinese listed companies during 2004–2017. The authors use ordinary least squares regressions as the primary methodology with a wide range of methods to control for endogeneity and to check robustness, including the fixed-effect method, instrumental variable approach, lagged gender diversity measures, propensity score matching, Blau index, Shannon index and industry-adjusted measures of agency costs.

Findings

The evidence reveals that the participation of female directors in corporate board reduces agency costs, which correlates with conflicts of interest. Moreover, gender-diverse boards are more effective in state-owned enterprises (SOEs), in which agency issues are more severe. Female directors also provide better monitoring roles in more-developed areas. Finally, corporate boards that have a critical mass of female directors have a greater tendency to reduce agency costs as compared to their token participation. Overall, all findings support the validity of agency theory.

Practical implications

This study shows the economic benefit of female directors in the boardroom by reducing agency costs and by improving firms' governance structure. Regarding the government, which is gradually introducing board gender diversity policies, this study provides valuable pragmatic information for Chinese regulators on this issue.

Originality/value

This study extends the literature by providing evidence that gender diversity in boardroom matters for shareholders' wealth maximization. It provides novel evidence that a critical mass of female directors is more effective in reducing agency costs compared to a single female on the board, and that the effect of gender diversity varies in relation to ownership structure and region.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. 16 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2019

Karren Lee-Hwei Khaw

This study aims to examine the relation between long-term debt and internationalization in the presence of the agency costs of debt and business risk.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the relation between long-term debt and internationalization in the presence of the agency costs of debt and business risk.

Design/methodology/approach

Sample firms consist of 517 non-financial listed firms in Malaysia, with 4,197 firm-year observations from the year 2000 to 2014. This study uses panel data regressions and a series of robustness tests to examine the hypotheses.

Findings

The results show that multinational corporations (MNCs) are more likely to sustain less long-term debt than domestic corporations (DCs) to mitigate the costs related to agency problem and firm risk. Meanwhile, foreign-based MNCs maintain less long-term debt than local-based firms, and the finding is more significant at a higher degree of internationalization. Robustness tests confirm the negative relations.

Research limitations/implications

The findings indicate that the ongoing debate on the debt financing puzzle can be explained by internationalization. Moreover, the findings suggest that in addition to the systematic differences between MNCs and DCs, studies on the debt financing and internationalization should also account for the systematic differences among MNCs such as the local-based MNCs, foreign-based MNCs and DCs that later expand their business operations abroad.

Practical implications

MNCs have to be responsive to the diverse institutional environments as they diversify their business operations geographically. When the adverse effects of internationalization outweigh the benefits, MNCs could use the long-term debt financing decision to mitigate the costs of doing business abroad. This is because debt financing is also a primary concern in the corporate financial decisions for the maximization of shareholders’ wealth.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the debt financing literature from the international perspective by providing evidence from an emerging market. In addition, this study highlights the importance of recognizing firms by their firm-specific characteristics, such as internationalization, given the systematic differences among firms.

Details

Journal of Asia Business Studies, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1558-7894

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2010

Rolf Mirus and Bernard Yeung

We examine the mode of international expansion as an equilibrium governance contract between home country and host country factor owner. The focus is on agency costs, a…

Abstract

We examine the mode of international expansion as an equilibrium governance contract between home country and host country factor owner. The focus is on agency costs, a form of transactions costs. Two phenomena are shown to be related to the agency costs imposed by factor owners: (i) the choice of different modes of international expansion by one firm in different locations, and (ii) the simultaneous occurrence of several forms of foreign involvement in the same location. We attempt to characterize the dynamic relationship between the mode of an offshore operation and changes in factor market conditions that affect agency costs.

Details

Multinational Business Review, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 28 September 2016

Steve Yaffe

This chapter applies the Consortium for Advanced Management, International (CAM-I) Activity-Based Cost Management (ABC/M) tool to paratransit. The intent is to enable…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter applies the Consortium for Advanced Management, International (CAM-I) Activity-Based Cost Management (ABC/M) tool to paratransit. The intent is to enable agencies sponsoring rides to save money through sharing rides and vehicle-time.

Design/methodology/approach

Several paratransit cost-allocation models from Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) and other sources are reviewed and one is adapted to the ABC/M methodology, based upon the author’s previous work proportionately allocating ride time among sponsoring agencies at a consolidated human service transportation agency and the price sheets used in contracted operations to minimize financial risk.

Findings

Through application of the principles of ABC/M, paratransit providers can properly allocate costs, determine the costs of providing proposed new services, plan for future vehicle acquisitions, and motivate their customers to tailor their transportation needs in a manner that will save them money and boost efficiency.

Research limitations/implications

University-based transportation studies programs may be motivated to apply these strategies to urban and rural paratransit providers that serve several customer agencies.

Practical implications

If agencies sponsoring paratransit rides understand that funds can purchase more rides during off-peak hours or if rides are shared with clients of other agencies, then paratransit resources can be used more efficiently and to the benefit of more individuals.

Social implications

By enabling the provision of more rides, a greater number of riders will be enabled to reach necessary services and participate in community life.

Originality/value

This is the first application of the ABC/M methodology to paratransit (and transit) and possibly to social services.

Details

Paratransit: Shaping the Flexible Transport Future
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-225-5

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Pei-Chen Chen, Ming-Chao Wang and Shih-Chieh Fang

Based on agency perspective on temporary agency workers, the purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between firms’ agency problems and agency cost on agency

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Abstract

Purpose

Based on agency perspective on temporary agency workers, the purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between firms’ agency problems and agency cost on agency workers; moreover, intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation are considered in seeking to understand how they moderate this relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the Hsinchu Science Park directory of corporate affiliations as a sample frame, the authors adopted a paired questionnaire which included two parts in order to consider the possible problem of common method variances. The first part is completed by the manager of the firms and the second part is completed by his/her temporary agency workers. Finally, 94 firms completed questionnaires, providing a total sample of 94 R&D managers and 458 temporary agency workers. The rate of participation was 31.65 percent.

Findings

Using a questionnaire survey of 94 high-tech firms, from which a total of 94 R&D managers and 458 temporary agency workers participated, the results show that firms’ agency problems have a positive influence on the agency cost of monitoring temporary agency workers. In addition, while this relationship is negatively moderated by extrinsic motivation, intrinsic motivation has a non-significant moderating effect.

Originality/value

The managers of firms should consider not only the short-term flexibility of employing temporary agency workers, but also the long-term cultivation of promoting great agency workers. This could maximize the efficiency of the interaction between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Of course, the firms should think about how to reduce the agency problems created by goal conflict, information asymmetry and risk sharing with temporary agency workers, because this could also provide a chance for the firms to decrease agency costs spent on monitoring.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 39 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2009

Kate Jelinek and Pamela S. Stuerke

This paper aims to examine the impact of managerial equity ownership on return on assets as a measure of profitability and two financial statement‐based agency cost

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the impact of managerial equity ownership on return on assets as a measure of profitability and two financial statement‐based agency cost measures, i.e. asset utilization and an expense ratio, which proxy for management's efficiency in use of assets and perquisite consumption, respectively.

Design/methodology/approach

Multivariate tests are constructed to examine the nonlinear relation between managerial equity ownership and both profitability and agency costs, using interaction terms to capture the relation at various levels of managerial ownership.

Findings

The paper documents that managerial equity ownership is nonlinearly and positively associated with return on assets and asset utilization, and nonlinearly and negatively associated with the expense ratio, after controlling for firm size, leverage, corporate diversification, institutional ownership, research intensity, firm age, and executive stock options.

Research limitations/implications

The results imply that the ability of managerial equity ownership to reduce agency costs decreases as levels of ownership increase. Further, the results indicate that, in some industries, high levels of ownership lead to increased expense ratios, suggesting increased perquisite consumption. Finally, these results suggest that, above a certain level in some industries, managerial equity ownership only marginally encourages efficient asset utilization but does not significantly deter excessive spending.

Originality/value

The paper provides a link between research that demonstrates a linear relation between managerial equity ownership and financial‐statement based profitability and agency cost measures and research that finds a nonlinear relation between managerial equity ownership and Tobin's Q, a proxy for firm performance.

Details

International Journal of Managerial Finance, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1743-9132

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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2018

Xiaodong Xu and Huifeng Xu

On the basis of principal-agent and financing constraints theories, the purpose of this paper is to construct a unified research framework via mathematical models and to…

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Abstract

Purpose

On the basis of principal-agent and financing constraints theories, the purpose of this paper is to construct a unified research framework via mathematical models and to provide a logical and consistent explanation of the contradictory discovery of the relationship between dividend payment and I-CFO in the previous literature.

Design/methodology/approach

Establishing the economic mathematical models, this paper uses the comparative static analysis to figure out the equilibrium results, to further testify the conclusions, the authors initiate the empirical tests to make the discussion more realistic.

Findings

The authors observe that overinvestment caused by agency problems is the primary reason for I-C sensitivity when the investment expenditure is less than the internal capital; dividend payout suppresses the overinvestment caused by the agency problem, thus alleviating the investment’s dependence on the internal capital. However, underinvestment caused by the financing constraints is the primary cause of I-C sensitivity when the investment expenditure is greater than the internal capital. The payment of cash dividends increases the investment shortage caused by the financing constraints, thus increasing the sensitivity. Further, the authors explore the impact of dividend payments on I-CFO sensitivity. They argue that dividend payment is not an appropriate measure of financing constraints. Both I-CFO sensitivity and I-C sensitivity are functions of agency cost and information cost.

Research limitations/implications

This study provides a logical and consistent explanation of the contradictory discovery of the relationship between dividend payment and I-CFO in the previous literature and provides a clear framework and reference for future studies on the impact of financial constraints, agency cost on the investment’s dependence on the internal capital.

Practical implications

The theoretical model of this paper supports this differentiated mandatory dividend policy and provides reference and evidence for China's financing policies and dividend distribution policies.

Originality/value

This study theoretically and empirically analyzes and verifies the roles of agency cost and financial constraints on the determinants of I-C sensitivity for the first time. First, different from earlier literature, this paper puts forward I-C sensitivity as a new measure of investment’s dependence on internal capital, making the measurement more accurate. In the case of a firm with positive liquidity reserves, using the I-CFO sensitivity as a measure of external financing constraints could overestimate the firm’s financial constraints. Second, by constructing an economic static analysis framework, this study analyzes how I-C and I-CFO sensitivities change with the agency cost, the financing constraints and the dividend payment ratio. The research provides a basic framework and explanation on the contradictions of the earlier literature. The results are supposed to serve as a foundation for estimations of investment’s dependence on internal capital and should be embedded in general empirical tests in future research.

Details

China Finance Review International, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1398

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