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Board Activities and the Denationalization of Ownership – The Case of Sweden

Research paper by KARIN JONNERGÅRD, MATTS KÄRREMAN

Indexed on: 01 Sep '04Published on: 01 Sep '04Published in: Journal of Management & Governance



Abstract

This article investigates the effects of a denationalization of ownership on the activities of corporate boards. A simultaneous change in investors' identity on the Swedish stock exchange and the board activities of large Swedish firms was observed during the late 90s. Drawing on the heritage hypothesis we conjectured that there could be a relationship between increased international ownership and increased board activities on firm level. The results show that board activities in terms of range of activities and engagement in the decision process increased during the 90s. No relationship was found between change in ownership identity and board activities, instead the increase in activities seemed to be a general phenomenon, while ownership change was firm specific. To explain this result a hypothesis of legitimization seeking behaviour and indirect influence of denationalization, specific to the period in question, is formulated.