Title: Board of directors and corporate diversification in Malaysia

Authors: Zuaini Ishak; Nor Aziah Abdul Manaf

Addresses: Accounting Building, UUM College of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia, 06010 UUM Sintok, Kedah, Malaysia ' Accounting Building, UUM College of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia, 06010 UUM Sintok, Kedah, Malaysia

Abstract: This study provides evidence on corporate diversification in Malaysia. The attributes of board: board composition, board characteristic, board structure and board process are examined in focused and diversified companies. The board attributes are also tested to examine the relationship with corporate diversification level. With exception to board size and duality leadership structure, the practices of board attributes are not shown to be different in focused and diversified companies. In terms of relationship, only proportion of executive directors is found to have significant correlation with diversification level [measured by number of segments based on two-digit SIC and Herfindahl index (asset)]. Overall, the findings show that not all board governance attributes differ in corporate diversification status and level. The board effectiveness in monitoring corporate diversification is still unclear as diversification is not necessarily an inefficient strategy although it might be used for the benefit of decision agent.

Keywords: corporate diversification; focused firms; diversified firms; diversification levels; Malaysia; board governance; board size; board proportion; duality leadership; board characteristics; board of directors; board structure; board processes.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCA.2013.055179

International Journal of Critical Accounting, 2013 Vol.5 No.2, pp.123 - 142

Available online: 22 Jul 2013 *

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