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Article
Publication date: 30 April 2018

Modest Paul Assenga, Doaa Aly and Khaled Hussainey

This paper aims to investigate the impact of board characteristics on the financial performance of listed firms in Tanzania. Board characteristics, including outside directors…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the impact of board characteristics on the financial performance of listed firms in Tanzania. Board characteristics, including outside directors, board size, CEO/Chair duality, gender diversity, board skill and foreign directors are addressed in the Tanzanian context by applying two corporate governance theories, namely, agency theory and resource dependence theory.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses balanced panel data regression analysis on 80 firm-years observations (2006-2013) from annual reports, and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 key stakeholders. The study uses also a mixed methods approach and applies a convergent parallel design (Creswell and Plano Clark, 2011) to integrate quantitative and qualitative data.

Findings

It was found that in terms of agency theory, while the findings support the separation of CEO/Chairperson roles, they do not support outside directors-financial performance linkage. With regard to resource dependence theory, the findings suggest that gender diversity has a positive impact on financial performance. Furthermore, the findings do not support an association between financial performance and board size, PhD qualification and foreign directors.

Practical implications

The study contributes to the understanding of board-performance link and provides academic evidence to policy makers in Tanzania for current and future governance reforms.

Originality/value

The findings contribute to the literature by providing new and original insights that, within a developing setting, extend current understanding of the association between corporate governance and financial performance. This is predicated, also, on the use of uncommon mixed methods approach.

Details

Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, vol. 18 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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