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Journal cover: Managerial Finance

Managerial Finance

ISSN: 0307-4358

Online from: 1975

Subject Area: Accounting and Finance

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AGENCY THEORY:: Implications for Financial Management

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Title:AGENCY THEORY:: Implications for Financial Management
Author(s):Amir Jassim, (California State University-Fresno), Carolyn R. Dexter, (The Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg), Aman Sidhu, (California State University-Fresno)
Citation:Amir Jassim, Carolyn R. Dexter, Aman Sidhu, (1988) "AGENCY THEORY:: Implications for Financial Management", Managerial Finance, Vol. 14 Iss: 4, pp.1 - 5
Article type:General review
DOI:10.1108/eb013600 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:This paper reviews and analyzes the literature on agency theory in terms of the nature of the problem and its implications for management. Finance theory posits that the goal of economic organizations is to maximize stockholders' wealth. Attaining this goal was not an issue when owners were also managers. But since World War II corporate ownership world-wide has become increasingly diffused. By 1969 only 15% of the largest U.S. non-financial institutions were owned by their managers. This change raises the issue of the relationships between owners and managers. To what extent do managers act on their own behalf rather than the owners as prescribed by finance theory? Several studies indicate that managers substitute their own interests in place of the shareholders. This is possible because managers possess more information about the firm, control the election procedure to the Board of Directors, and the shareholders are widely dispersed. This phenomenon is called an agency problem. According to Jensen and Meckling an “agency problem” exists when managers own less than 100% of the firm. With less than 100 per cent ownership, managers can shift part of the cost associated with decisions made in their own interest. Clearly these conditions are common in major corporations of the world where global markets require raising large amounts of capital for the research, development, and production facilities required to remain competitive.

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