Determinants of business groups’ performance: empirical evidence from pakistan

Ahmad, Ishtiaq
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Business groups are a widespread phenomenon in both developing and developed countries, although it is believed that business groups are more active and play a more key role in emerging economies where an institutional framework is inefficient. As shown by many scholars, such as Yabushita & Sehiro (2014) and Chen & Jaw (2014), in emerging economies, business groups are considered as an eminent research issue in the literature. A similar point is also made by Manikandan & Ramachandran (2015) and Ramaswamy, Li & Petitt (2012), supporting research on business groups as being an active topic to be explored in developing economies. However, empirical studies reporting equivocal findings and theories have proposed mixed predictions (He et al., 2013; Lee et al., 2008; Chang & Hong, 2000: Khanna & Rivikin, 2001). Consequently, this issue demands a comprehensive investigation beyond the direct effect of group affiliation on the performance of firms. In essence, business groups arise and prosper in emerging economies because of institutional voids. Hence, they are capable of overcoming such voids in product and capital markets. From this view, business groups are capable of acquiring and effectively manage tangible and intangible resources, thereby to enable group-member firms to reduce their Transaction Costs. Therefore, being a member of business group is to receive significant economic value from group affiliation. In spite of voluminous research investigating the role of business groups in emerging economies, the determinants of business group performance measures are not addressed sufficiently. The aim of the thesis was therefore to empirically analyse the role of group affiliation, tangible and intangible resources, and interlocking directorates in the emerging economy of Pakistan by employing data for eight years spanning 2008–2015. By using firm-level data, the thesis focuses on three important research questions related to business group affiliation: 1. Do the group-member firms perform financially better than standalone firms do? 2. What effect do tangible and intangible resources have on profitability of firms? 3. What is the impact of interlocking directorates on performance of firms?
business groups, performance, empirical research, profit