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Shareholder activism in family-controlled firms in Malaysia

Siti Sakinah Azizan and Rashid Ameer

Managerial Auditing Journal, 2012, vol. 27, issue 8, 774-794

Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of shareholder activism led by the Minority Shareholder Watchdog Group (MSWG) on the performance of family-controlled firms in Malaysia from 2005 to 2009. Design/methodology/approach - The paper uses event study methodology to calculate abnormal returns for the sample and control firms. Findings - The paper finds significant positive cumulative abnormal returns of at least 0.5 percent for the targeted family firms, during the event window of [-1, 0] and [0, +1], as a result of MSWG engagement. There is a significant positive cumulative abnormal return of 1 percent for the firms where family control is less than the threshold level of 33 percent. It is interesting to note that MSWG engagements do not have consistent positive impact on the abnormal returns over the years. There are significant differences between the performance of MSWG targeted family-controlled firms and non-targeted family-controlled firms after one year of MSWG intervention. Research limitations/implications - The results show that MSWG-led shareholder activism does have an effect on the share returns of the family-controlled firms. These results imply that family-controlled firms agree with the MSWG on those matters that improve the bottom-line results. Originality/value - The authors argue that this is the first study to examine MSWG engagements with family-controlled firms in Malaysia.

Keywords: Family ownership; Corporate performance; Shareholder activism; Malaysia; Performance management (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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