Essays on managerial foreign experience and corporate behaviours in China : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Finance at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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Massey University
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Managerial foreign experience is a type of resource which allows managers to think globally and act locally. This thesis contributes to the literature on how foreign experienced managers impact corporate behaviour in China, the world’s largest emerging market. The first essay examines how managers with foreign experience influence corporate risk-taking. I find that foreign experienced managers are positively associated with corporate risk-taking. This relationship only robustly exists among private firms rather than state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The excess risk-taking through foreign experienced managers is positively related to Tobin’s Q, indicating that foreign experienced managers increase firm value through value-enhancing projects, which benefits shareholders. The second essay concentrates on the relationship between managerial foreign experience and earnings quality. I find that foreign experienced managers improve corporate earnings quality, and this improvement is more pronounced in private firms. Moreover, I document that the improved earnings quality is an important mechanism for which foreign experienced managers increase stock returns and decrease agency costs. The third essay in the thesis investigates the relationship between foreign experienced managers and corporate labour investment. I find foreign experienced managers are more likely to recruit and retain high skilled employees, which in turn increases labour cost for firms in total. The positive relationship between managerial foreign experience and labour cost is significant in both SOEs and private firms. Foreign experienced managers may focus on employees’ well-being to complete political goals in SOEs while they are more likely to retain and attract high skilled employees to benefit shareholders’ value in private firms. I further document that the increased labour costs through managerial foreign experience can influence firm value positively. However, it also increases the labour stickiness cost. Overall, this thesis documents the benefits and costs of hiring foreign experienced managers in firms.
Executives, China, Employment, Foreign countries, Corporations, Organizational behavior