Does Board Experience Matter? Evidence from Foreign Direct Investment


This study contributes to the growing literatures on the importance of board expertise to their provision of counsel for management. By demonstrating that when announcing overseas investments, how a firm alleviates its liabilities of foreignness by board members possessing relevant experiences, the present work addresses the long-standing issue of what renders board the most effective. Drawing on expertise literature, we exam the efficacy of both director specific and heterogeneous experience, assessed by foreign market entry mode and targeted host country. The empirical results yield support for favorable impacts of both types of director experience. This finding corroborates the transition of board’s role from “passively” ratifying executive proposals, as predicted by agency theory, to “actively” instructing executives, as argued by resource dependence theory. The resource provision function of a board is further supported by greater benefits of director experience in situations of limited firm resources, assessed by executives’ associated experience. Finally, we find that directors who have operated independently from the CEO but without relevant experience cannot have significant influence on investment outcome. Our research result contributes to corporate governance research predominated by agency theory for the past decades, which presumes director independence as the foremost prerequisite for board effectiveness.

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J. Lai and L. Chen, "Does Board Experience Matter? Evidence from Foreign Direct Investment," Journal of Service Science and Management, Vol. 5 No. 2, 2012, pp. 140-150. doi: 10.4236/jssm.2012.52018.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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