Board independence and firm internationalization: a meta-analysis

Spadafora, Ettore, Addo, Kwabena Aboah, Kostova, Tatiana, Kumodzie-Dussey, Makafui Kwame, Leo, Ezekiel, Marano, Valentina and van Essen, Marc (2022) Board independence and firm internationalization: a meta-analysis. Multinational Business Review. ISSN 1525-383X

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Purpose: Despite agency theory and resource dependence theory suggesting that – albeit through different mechanisms – board independence positively influences firm internationalization, empirical evidence on this relationship has been mixed and inconclusive. Based on this, the purpose of the present study is twofold: first, to analyze and synthesize the existing empirical literature and, second, to develop new theoretical insights on the effect of board independence on firm internationalization.

Design/methodology/approach: The authors used advanced meta-analytic techniques that allowed them, first, to synthesize the existing empirical literature on the board independence–firm internationalization relationship and, second, to examine the effect of several contingencies on such relationship. This study relies on data from 87 primary studies (published and unpublished) carried out in multiple academic fields in the period 1998–2021 and covering 49 countries.

Findings: The results confirm the established agency and resource-dependence arguments, suggesting that higher board independence is associated with greater firm internationalization. Moreover, the results show that the focal relationship is moderated by home-country formal and informal institutional factors, and in particular, the legal protection of minority shareholders and family business legitimacy. The authors do not find evidence that CEO duality and board size moderate the focal relationship or that board independence has a stronger effect on breadth than on depth of internationalization.

Originality/value: This study lies at the intersection of the literatures on corporate governance and firm internationalization and on comparative corporate governance of the multinational firm, shedding further light on the role played by institutional environments in determining the effectiveness of corporate governance mechanisms.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Strategy and Marketing
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2022 12:24
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2022 14:45

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