Does CEO Duality Matter: An Integrative Approach
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The second part of the dissertation examines the linkage between the CEO-Chair choice and the performance of the company (as measured by returns or operating efficiency). Shareholder activists argue that poor performance results when the CEO serves simultaneously as the Chair of the Board of Directors, so called "CEO duality." This dissertation examines whether firms that split these positions experience higher accounting performance than firms that do not split the positions. Several hypotheses are tested regarding the effects on firms with split positions. The empirical model indicates that firms that have split positions exhibit, on average, no lower or higher performance than other firms after integrating into the model industry effects, the role of other agency control mechanisms, the size of agency problems, and other firm characteristics. This is consistent with an irrelevance hypothesis as well as with the possibility that firms choose their policies optimally once other factors are accounted for. However, the firms with split positions do exhibit a different relationship between information asymmetry and performance as well as between other agency control mechanisms and performance. The use of agency control mechanisms, for example as measured by the proportion of the firm held by institutional investors, have a greater effect on performance for non-split than for split firms.
Overall the results support the notion that firm and management characteristics (such as the level of agency problems, information asymmetry, ownership structure, and the existence of other agency control mechanisms) influence the choice to split positions and influence the role and effectiveness of split positions. The vast majority of firms' choice can be predicted by using such characteristics in an integrated model of the decision. The results imply that the benefits of split positions may be firm specific, that split positions are only appropriate for some firms, and that a net benefit will not be captured by all firms that simply enact a policy of split positions independent of their fundamental characteristics.
- Doctoral Dissertations