Corporate Governance and Strategic Change in SMEs: The Effects of Ownership, Board Composition and Top Management Teams

Corporate Governance and Strategic Change in SMEs: The Effects of Ownership, Board Composition... This paper investigates how governance mechanisms affect the ability of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to introduce strategic change. Previous research typically assumes that governance mechanisms operate independently of each other. Building on agency theory and insights from the literature on small firm governance, we hypothesize that governance variables related to ownership, the board of directors and the top management team all affect strategic change and that it is important to examine the interaction effects of these governance mechanisms. Using a longitudinal sample of over 800 SMEs, our general logic and hypotheses are supported by the analyses. We find that closely held firms exhibit less strategic change than do SMEs relying on more widespread ownership structures. However, to some extent, closely held firms can overcome these weaknesses and achieve strategic change by utilizing outside directors on the board and/or extending the size of the top management teams. Implications for theory and management practice in SMEs are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Small Business Economics Springer Journals

Corporate Governance and Strategic Change in SMEs: The Effects of Ownership, Board Composition and Top Management Teams

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Business and Management; Management; Microeconomics; Entrepreneurship; Industrial Organization
ISSN
0921-898X
eISSN
1573-0913
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11187-006-9021-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper investigates how governance mechanisms affect the ability of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to introduce strategic change. Previous research typically assumes that governance mechanisms operate independently of each other. Building on agency theory and insights from the literature on small firm governance, we hypothesize that governance variables related to ownership, the board of directors and the top management team all affect strategic change and that it is important to examine the interaction effects of these governance mechanisms. Using a longitudinal sample of over 800 SMEs, our general logic and hypotheses are supported by the analyses. We find that closely held firms exhibit less strategic change than do SMEs relying on more widespread ownership structures. However, to some extent, closely held firms can overcome these weaknesses and achieve strategic change by utilizing outside directors on the board and/or extending the size of the top management teams. Implications for theory and management practice in SMEs are discussed.

Journal

Small Business EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 24, 2007

References

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