The Influence of Board of Directors’ Risk Oversight on Risk Management Maturity and Firm Risk-Taking
70 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2014 Last revised: 16 Mar 2015
Date Written: March 12, 2015
The Board of Directors’ role in risk oversight has come under increased scrutiny, resulting in shareholder lawsuits, increased regulation, and more extensive disclosure and listing requirements. While theory predicts that Board risk oversight can benefit stakeholders by mitigating risk-related agency conflicts, critics argue that changes in Board practices in response to external pressure may simply be window-dressing. Using both archival and survey data on corporate risk management processes, we examine the influence of Board risk oversight responsibilities and practices on the maturity of the firm’s risk management processes and risk-taking. We find the location of Board risk oversight responsibilities to be a major determinant of Board risk oversight practices, with greater oversight in firms that formally assign responsibilities to the Board as a whole as well as its committees. Supporting the view that risk oversight is conducted for economic reasons, the quality of Board oversight practices has a direct positive relation with the maturity of risk management processes, as well as a significant indirect influence on future stock return volatility and tail risk through the enhanced risk management maturity.
Keywords: corporate governance, board of directors, risk oversight, ERM
JEL Classification: G30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation