Original Research

Economic incentives of family controlling shareholders and the monitoring role of non-dominant large shareholders in corporate governance: Evidence from the manufacturing firms in Malaysia

Chin Fei Goh, Amran Rasli, Saif-Ur-Rehman Khan
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 17, No 4 | a738 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v17i4.738 | © 2014 Chin Fei Goh, Amran Rasli, Saif-Ur-Rehman Khan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 September 2013 | Published: 29 August 2014

About the author(s)

Chin Fei Goh, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia
Amran Rasli, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
Saif-Ur-Rehman Khan, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia

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This article explores the economic incentives of dominant controlling shareholders with regard to the expropriation of minority shareholders, on the one hand, and the monitoring role of non-dominant large shareholders in family firms, on the other. The authors argue that family controlling shareholders (or family owners) do not share common interests with other shareholders. Drawing on 141 family firms in the manufacturing sector that were listed on Bursa Malaysia (the Malaysian stock exchange) from 2003 to 2006, the article finds an inverted U-shaped relationship between excess control rights and a firm's market performance. The findings also show that both the cash flow rights (i.e. claims on cash payouts) of family controlling shareholders and the presence of non-dominant large shareholders with the ability to contest control of the firm have a positive relationship with market performance. 

This study contributes to the literature by indicating that family owners are unlikely to collude with other large shareholders to expropriate minority shareholders. Furthermore, low levels of excess family-owner control rights are beneficial for market performance because firms may benefit from group affiliations and receive patronage from wealthy owners. However, high levels of excess control rights are understood to be an economic incentive for family owners to expropriate minority shareholders during non-crisis periods.



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