Corporate Ownership and Managerial Short-Termism: Results from a Finnish Study of Management Perceptions
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration
University of Turku
February, 20 2009
International Journal of Production Economics, Vol. 117, No. 2, 2009
Increased media exposure to layoffs and corporate quarterly financial reporting have created arguable a common perception-especially favored by the media itself-that the companies have been forced to improve their financial performance from quarter to quarter. Academically, the relevant question is whether companies themselves feel that they are exposed to short-term pressure to perform even if it means that they have to compromise company's long-term future. This paper studies this issue using results from a survey conducted among the 500 largest companies in Finland. The results indicate that companies in general feel moderate short-term pressure, with reasonable dispersion across firms. There seems to be a link between the degree of pressure felt, and the firm's ownership structure, i.e. we find some support for the existence of potentially short-term versus long-term owners. We also find significant ownership related differences, in line with expectations, in how such short-term pressure is reflected in actual decision variables such as the investment criteria used.
Keywords: Impatience, Short-termism, Investments, Ownership, Finland
JEL Classification: G31, G34, L21, M51, M52Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 20, 2009
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