CEO duality’s effect on firm performance : A comparison between the agency- and stewardship theory
Sammanfattning: Background: CEO duality has been a highly discussed topic for the last 20 years. The trend shows that more and more companies and countries move towards a separation of the roles of CEO and chairman of the board, but the empirical results show little evidence that this is beneficial for firm performance. The two main accepted theories explaining if CEO duality has a positive or negative effect on firm performance has been the agency theory and the stewardship theory Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explain CEO duality´s effect on firm performance based on the agency and stewardship theory by analyzing and comparing the U.S. as an agency country versus Sweden & Japan as a stewardship country. The study also aims to contribute with evidence if a stewardship country as Sweden instead would benefit from a CEO duality board structure. Method: To be able to fulfill our purpose was a deductive approach used for this study. A quantitative empirical method is used and data for the various dependent, independent and control variables were collected in order to get the results needed to be able to give answers to the stated hypotheses. The data collection consists of data from a total of 200 firms. 100 firms were collected from the U.S. market in order to represent the agency theory where 50 had a CEO duality board structure and 50 without. Furthermore, data from 50 Swedish non-CEO duality companies and 50 Japanese firms with CEO duality were collected as the stewardship country. The data was obtained between the years 2016-2020. Conclusion: The result indicates that CEO duality on some performance variables have a negative impact on firm performance. Contrary to our first hypothesis, our results suggested evidence that CEO duality had a negative effect on firm performance in the stewardship country (Sweden & Japan). In line with our second hypothesis, our results also suggested that CEO duality also had a negative impact on firm performance in the agency country, USA. Although not all performance variables were significant, the thesis could not provide any support for the stewardship theory explaining CEO duality relationship on firm performance.
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