[Truncated abstract] In March 2003, the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) released new corporate governance guidelines, which included debatable "best practice" recommendations such as the adoption of an independent board and separation of the roles of chairperson and CEO. Given the premise that strong corporate governance enhances shareholder value and, by extension, increases initial public offering (IPO) issuers’ appeal to investors, this thesis assesses the level of conformity by a sample of Australian firms, which made an IPO between 1994 and 1999, with the best practice recommendations. We also examine the relationship between firm outcomes (including IPO underpricing, post-IPO long-run performance, and the likelihood of a SEO) and board governance quality, captured by board composition, board leadership, board size and share ownership of directors. These outcomes are addressed as they are important dimensions of firm performance that may be reasonably assumed to be associated with the quality of corporate governance, and these tests can provide an insight into the preference of investors who arguably are best placed to assess the appropriateness of the recommendations promoted by the ASX. Further, we analyse changes in IPO firms' board structures from the time of listing to five years later to determine if IPO firms adopt governance structures that are more in line with the best practice recommendations after listing and if the changes are related to IPO firms' long-run performance. Overall, we find that IPO firms that arguably have the strongest incentive to adopt the "optimal" board structures diverge substantially from ASX's recommendations both at the time of IPO and five years later...
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2005|