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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2017

Neema Mori and Goodluck Towo

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of board composition on the profitability of banks in Tanzania. First, it examines the differences between local and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of board composition on the profitability of banks in Tanzania. First, it examines the differences between local and foreign-owned banks in terms of their boards and profitability, and then the contribution of board composition to banks’ profitability.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper utilizes a secondary panel data set of information on the boards, their operations and financial statements of 35 banks. The data were collected between 2009 and 2013. The authors tested the stated hypotheses using descriptive and econometric analyses.

Findings

The results show a significant difference in board composition and profitability between local and foreign-owned banks. Local banks have a higher income and profits. With their contextual knowledge they are able to attract diverse board directors who contribute positively to their performance. The paper also found that large boards and those with women on them were associated with high profitability.

Research limitations/implications

The study focused on three aspects of boards, which are size, foreign directors and women’s representation. The paper is limited in the sense that other aspects of composition that also affect performance are not included in the study.

Practical implications

The paper suggests that in order to maximize profitability, banks should increase the number of directors. Many board members can share skills and knowledge, which can improve performance. Women are underrepresented on boards. With current changes in policy and education in emerging countries, there is a need to increase their representation.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the agency theory by showing that large boards are indeed efficient at monitoring and bringing in profits, especially in an emerging economy where there are multifaceted risks at country and company level. These risks require shareholders and investors to have a much better understanding of the banks and that is where a large board plays a key role.

Details

African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-0705

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2018

Neema Mori and Goodluck Charles

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the composition and role of a board of directors in a family-owned microfinance institution (FO-MFI) in Tanzania.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the composition and role of a board of directors in a family-owned microfinance institution (FO-MFI) in Tanzania.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a longitudinal analysis of the board practices based on boardroom observations for the period between 2012 and 2015. The study further collected and analyzed qualitative data from interviews with board members, management, and institution staff.

Findings

The findings indicate that even though external board members were appointed as a result of their diverse expertise and skills, their personal relationships with shareholders, life-cycle stage of the institution, and the nature of the industry influenced their selection. It was also found that the board played more of the service role in strategy formulation, resource mobilization, and networking, and, through that, members were also able to exercise control of the firm.

Research limitations/implications

Because this paper is based on a qualitative approach, it suffers from the challenge of generalization. However, numerous research issues have been raised that require further investigation.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the governance literature by showing what really happens in a family-owned firm, as it is based on a unique data set drawn from the boardroom of the FO-MFI in a context of a developing economy. This context is unique, given that most private MFIs operating as family enterprises do not have a professional board of directors. The study shows how the board contributes to a strategic direction of the firm in which the management and ownership are not separated, and the first generation is running the firm.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

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