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Title: Board diversity in selected large Maltese family-controlled businesses and its implications on corporate governance
Authors: Pisani, Britney
Baldacchino, Peter J.
Tabone, Norbert
Ellul, Lauren
Grima, Simon
Keywords: Corporate governance -- Malta
Family-owned business enterprises -- Malta
Family corporations -- Malta
Directors of corporations -- Malta
Boards of directors -- Malta
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: ISMASYSTEMS Scientific Research
Citation: Pisani, B., Baldacchino, P. J., Tabone, N., Ellul, L., & Grima, S. (2023). Board Diversity in Selected Large Maltese Family-Controlled Businesses and its Implications on Corporate Governance. International Journal of Finance, Insurance and Risk Management, 13(3), 14-49.
Abstract: The objectives of this study are twofold.: (i) to establish the extent of Board diversity in both its major surface-level (i.e. age, gender, nationality and tenure diversity) and deep-level aspects (i.e. industry-specific, financial, legal and IT expertise) in selected Maltese Large Family Businesses (LFBs), and to establish whether any inherent characteristics of such entities are perceived as influencing the extent of such diversity and (ii) to assess the influences of such diversity aspects on the major Corporate Governance (CG) factors. This also involves ascertaining the extent to which such influences, if existent, are perceived as advantageous or disadvantageous. Design/Methodology/Approach: Semi-structured interviews were carried out with twenty-six interviewees, consisting of eleven directors, three company secretaries, a CEO, four CFOs, an Institute of Directors representative, four advisory partners, an audit manager and an audit director. Findings: LFB Boards are mostly composed of family members, mostly long-tenured and having a lack of diversity of expertise. Moreover, LFB inherent characteristics, particularly strong emotional ties, may reduce the likelihood of a LFB Board being diverse. Furthermore, tenure and age diversity are the diversity aspects most influential on CG, particularly on attaining effective succession planning. In addition, although the eight major diversity aspects do not influence the CG factors pari passu, they generally influence various CG factors advantageously. Practical Implications: LFBs should consider Board participation rather than Board membership for most family members in order to allow enough space for the involvement of externals as Board members. Moreover, LFBs should set up a plan to manage the negative influences of their inherent characteristics on Board diversity. LFBs should also opt for various aspects of Board diversity, yet prioritise tenure and age diversity. In this regard, the introduction of fiscal incentives by public authorities may be an appropriate step in this direction. Originality/Value: This study attempts to raise more awareness on the relevance and implications of Board diversity in LFBs. The proposed recommendations may therefore guide such businesses to improve their CG, and possibly also encourage the competent authorities to provide more guidance in this regard.
ISSN: 20470916
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacEMAAcc

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