The effects of board structure on corporate performance: Evidence from East African frontier markets

Yilmaz Guney, Ahmet Karpuz, Gabriel Komba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The effectiveness of the well-known corporate governance practices may not be universal due to fundamental differences in the environments under which firms operate. By using hand-collected data from all the non-financial firms listed on the unexplored East African frontier markets (i.e., Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda), we examine the effect of board characteristics on the performance of firms. Our results show that board size has a negative and significant effect on firm performance. The presences of foreigners and civil servants on the board play positive roles on financial performance, where the agency and resource dependence theories apply. Further, we find that board members with higher education also contribute to firm performance. These findings still hold when we consider the 2008–2009 financial crisis period. Overall, we show that in a business climate where ownership is largely dominated by few shareholders, the conventional governance mechanisms do not work effectively.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101222
JournalResearch in International Business and Finance
Early online date30 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Agency theory
  • Board attributes
  • Corporate governance
  • Frontier markets
  • Resource dependence theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Finance


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