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Organizational transparency and power in firm ownership networks

Anna Grosman and Aija Leiponen

Journal of Comparative Economics, 2018, vol. 46, issue 4, 1158-1177

Abstract: When public institutions do not support information disclosure and contract enforcement, controlling owners may compensate by setting up ownership networks that facilitate the exchange of resources and alignment of interests. We examine how firms’ controlling owners draw power from ownership networks to provide access to resources for or to expropriate resources from their firms. Horizontal power originates from network centrality and is associated with resource access whereas vertical power originates from principal-principal agency conflicts and is associated with exploitation of minority shareholders. We highlight the impact of horizontal and vertical power through their interaction effects with transparency and disclosure (TD) practices on fixed investments and performance in Russian firms. We find that TD and horizontal power or connectedness are substitutes, while whereas TD and vertical power are complements in their effects on fixed investment and firm performance. Without a strong commitment to TD, powerful owners may thus deprive the firm of productive investments.

Keywords: Corporate governance; Ownership structure and networks; Sources of power; Transparency and disclosure; Russia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G32 G34 P31 L14 L25 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2018.07.001

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