The prevalence of ownership concentration in Asian firms presents a challenge to the influential agency theory-based understanding of the role of corporate boards. In this paper we develop and test hypotheses about board attributes and firm performance that reflect Asian institutional conditions. We present the first meta-analysis of the relationship between board attributes and performance of Asian firms using a varied set of meta-analytical techniques on a database of 86 studies covering nine Asian countries. First, we find that board structure and composition preferences are influenced by the identity of the concentrated owner. Second, consistent with US data, we find very limited evidence of a direct relationship between board attributes and firm financial performance in the Asian context. Third, we find that the relationship between board structure and composition and firm performance is mediated by the revealed strategic preferences of Asian firms specifically by the level of R&D investment.

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Asia Pacific Journal of Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

van Essen, M., van Oosterhout, H., & Carney, M. (2012). Corporate boards and the performance of Asian firms: A meta-analysis. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 29(4), 873–905. doi:10.1007/s10490-011-9269-1