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The impact of board independence and foreign ownership on financial and social performance of firms: evidence from the UAE

Bakr Al-Gamrh, Redhwan Al-Dhamari, Akanksha Jalan and Asghar Afshar Jahanshahi

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, 2020, vol. 21, issue 2, 201-229

Abstract: Purpose - This study examines the impact of two different types of foreign ownership—by Arab and non-Arab investors on firms' financial and social performance. It then goes on to investigate how the degree of board independence affects the aforementioned relationship between these two types of foreign investors on firm performance. Design/methodology/approach - The sample for the study is a panel of all listed firms in the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and the Abu Dhabi Securities exchange (ADX) from 2008 to 2012. Findings - Results indicate that while Arab foreign ownership affects firms' financial and social performance negatively, non-Arab foreign ownership does so, positively. Further tests indicate that board independence weakens the negative relationship between firm financial and social performance with foreign Arab ownership and deteriorate the relationship between firm financial and social performance and non-Arab foreign ownership. Research limitations/implications - Future studies may extend the coverage of the study by including other countries in the region and other identities of the foreign investors. Practical implications - This study may help policy makers in the UAE to improve the implementation and enforcement of existing regulations concerning corporate social responsibility (CSR) and board independence. It also highlights the need to look into the monitoring role of independent board members. Originality/value - This is the first study to examine the role of board independence on the relationship between foreign ownership and firm's financial and social performance. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that attempts to enrich the understanding of foreign ownership by classifying it into Arab versus non-Arab.

Keywords: Ownership; Board independence; Firm performance; Social performance; The UAE (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Working Paper: The impact of board independence and foreign ownership on financial and social performance of firms: evidence from the UAE (2020)
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