Title: How do we explain corporate board structure in sub-Saharan Africa?

Authors: Vera Fiador; Patience A. Abor; Joshua Abor

Addresses: University of Ghana Business School, P.O. Box LG 78, Legon, Ghana. ' University of Ghana Business School, P.O. Box LG 78, Legon, Ghana. ' University of Ghana Business School, P.O. Box LG 78, Legon, Ghana

Abstract: This study examines the determinants of corporate board structure in selected sub-Saharan Africa. We specifically investigate which firm-level characteristics exhibit any link whatsoever with board size, board composition and board leadership structure in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. We also ascertain whether alternative governance mechanisms such as institutional shareholders and debt holders serve as substitutes in addressing the agency conflicts in firms. The findings of the study indicate that institutional ownership is an alternative governance mechanism for board size for a majority of the countries under study. The findings of this study also indicate that firm size is the only variable that significantly and positively explains board size for all the four countries under study and the other firm-level characteristics, though significant in some cases in explaining the board structure, take on different signs from country to country and for different board characteristics.

Keywords: corporate governance; board structure; sub-Saharan Africa; board of directors; board size; board composition; leadership structure; Ghana; Nigeria; Kenya; South Africa; agency conflicts; institutional ownership; firm size.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBGE.2012.047538

International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 2012 Vol.7 No.2, pp.118 - 138

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 26 Jun 2012 *

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