We examine the extent to which shareholders strategically allow a weak governance structure in response to increasing competition pressures in the product market. We treat acquisitions by rival firms as shocks that increase threats in a competitive product market. We find that firms adopt greater entrenchment provisions when there are greater competition threats. Moreover, firms with high institutional ownership–especially by dedicated investors–and board independence within the compensation committee are particularly aggressive, which is consistent with our theory that aggressive behavior represents a strategic decision by shareholders. Finally, we find positive relationship between the adoption of entrenchment provisions and firm’s future performance, but only for the adoption under relatively severe competitive pressures.
- Corporate governance
- Product market competition