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CEO Duality and Firm Performance: An Integration of Institutional Perceptive with Agency Theory

Authors: A. Ujunwa, P. O. Salami, A. H. Umar


The recommendation of the committee on corporate governance for public companies in Nigeria, that the position of the CEO be separated from board chair has generated serious debate among scholars and practitioners. They have questioned the appropriateness of implementing corporate governance model that is based on Anglo-Saxon agency problem characterized by dispersed ownership structure; where markets for corporate control, legal regulation, and contractual incentives are the key governance mechanisms. This paper strives to resolve the argument by adopting an institutional perspective in testing the agency theory on board duality. The study developed a theoretical and empirical model to better understand how ownership structure influences agency conflict and how such affects firm performance. Hence, the study examines the relationship between CEO duality and firm performance using two institutional ownership structures – dispersed ownership and concentrated ownership structures. The empirical results show that CEO duality is negatively correlated with firm performance in Nigeria irrespective of the firm-s ownership structure. The findings give credence to the recommendation of the Peterside Commission on the need to separate the position of CEO from board chair.

Keywords: Corporate Governance, CEO-Duality, Firm Performance.

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