Politically induced board turnover, ownership arrangements, and performance of SOEs

Tanja Kuzman*, Oleksandr Talavera, Sotirios K. Bellos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
200 Downloads (Pure)


Manuscript Type: Empirical. 

Research Question/Issue: This study investigates the impact of elections on board member changes and its relationship with profit-oriented performance of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), thus providing new insights on political tie heterogeneity. 

Research Findings/Insights: Using a unique hand-collected dataset of 200 SOEs in six countries of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) from 2010 till 2014, we find that board member changes within SOEs, unlike for private enterprises, are politically motivated rather than performance induced. We reveal that SOEs with higher levels of board member changes encounter lower productivity and profitability levels. These findings suggest that political interference via board member changes causes organizational inefficiencies and poor SOE performance. Moreover, the results show that board member changes are insignificant for the performance of large SOEs and SOEs governed by independent government body.

Theoretical/Academic Implications: This study reveals an indirect channel for political interference, thus contributing to a better understanding of political tie heterogeneity. Moreover, our study is the first to link political interference and performance of SOEs through introduction of election cycles into the board member changes–performance relationship. 

Practitioner/Policy Implications: The results of this study provide insights for policymakers who are interested in enhancement of SOEs' performance. They suggest ways in which board appointment procedures should be altered as to be insulated from political interference. In addition, they show boards how they can lower the negative consequences of frequent board member changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-179
Number of pages20
JournalCorporate Governance: An International Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2018


  • Corporate governance
  • election cycles
  • ownership arrangement
  • performance of SOEs
  • politically induced board turnover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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