Board characteristics and firm’s financial performance
: Evidence from public listed companies in China

  • Andrew Ojo

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Corporate governance has drawn the attention of investors and government after the incidence of the 2007 financial crisis worldwide. Research on board characteristics and firm performance based on evidence from public listed firms in China has been reported, though with gaps that call for further research. Therefore, this study employs the dynamic model approach to investigate the nexus between board characteristics and firms’ financial performance of publicly listed firms in China. The research objectives were to investigate the relationship between board characteristics (board size, board independence, CEO duality, average board interlock, CEO interlock, and board gender diversity), the impact of female directors’ education, the moderating role of ownership concentration, and board-gender diversity in relation to board characteristics and firm performance. The study employed a multi-theoretical framework and longitudinal panel data samples of Chinese publicly listed non-financial firms from 2003 to 2016. The dynamic general method of moments and two-stage least square method was employed using Stata. This study reports a significant and positive association between board characteristics (board size, board independence, average board interlock and CEO interlock) and firm performance. Board gender diversity exhibits a positive relationship with ROA and a negative relationship with LnTobin’s Q is reported. The performance-effect of CEO duality, female directors’ education is non-significant. The performance-effect of interlocks is positively moderated by ownership concentration, while board gender diversity positively moderates the relationship between CEO duality, average board interlock, and firm performance. In contrast, the association between CEO interlock and firm performance is negatively moderated by board gender diversity. The board gender diversity performance effect is stronger in private controlled firms but not significant in state-controlled firms. The findings provide clear implications to policymakers and firm managers concerning corporate governance in China, these include: (i) ownership concentration can serve as an alternative proxy of monitoring and improve performance, especially in a weak institutional settings where the effect of independent directors are perfunctory, (ii) integrating arguments of agency theory and resource dependence theory in explaining the interaction of certain board characteristics and ownership concentration can improve firm performance, (iii) board gender diversity can improve the effectiveness of the board by acting as an proxy for board monitoring and, (iv) different ownership setting can affect the performance-effect of board characteristics in China.
    Date of AwardNov 2021
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorMei Yu (Supervisor) & Hailin Liao (Supervisor)


    • Corporate governance
    • Board characteristics
    • Ownership concentration
    • board gender diversity
    • firm's
    • performance
    • China

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