Shareholder Activism: Corporate Governance and Reforms in by Han-Kyun Rho (auth.)

By Han-Kyun Rho (auth.)

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The coefficient for the prior three years’ cumulative abnormal stock return, however, is not statistically significant” (p. 375). Johnson and Shackell (1997) report that the sales growth variable has negative sign but that neither of the two measures of profitability (return on sales and abnormal returns) is associated with the proposal filing decision. Smith (1996) finds the coefficient for abnormal return statistically insignificant and suggests that prior performance is not a significant factor in target selection.

Most studies (Karpoff, Malatesta and Walkling, 1996; Smith, 1996; Strickland, Wiles and Zenner, 1996; Bizjak and Marquette, 1998) find a positive relationship between the aggregate level of institutional ownership and the probability of activism. Johnson and Shackell (1998), on the other hand, report a negative association between the probability of receiving a shareholder proposal and the percentage of shares held by institutions. Carleton, Nelson and Weisbach (1998) test a hypothesis that the specific distribution of institutional ownership is more relevant in target 34 Shareholder Activism selection than the overall level of institutional ownership.

It is certain that they have authority to make a key decision in the process of shareholder activism. At the same time, it is possible that mediating groups, and frequently the media, can exert the power of gate-keeping and agenda-setting (McCombs and Shaw, 1972) over the shareholders. Shareholders obtain some, if not all, critical information from mediating groups, who have already filtered and reconstructed the raw data to produce such information. Meaning of emergence In the previous section of ‘methods of voice’ we have discussed the difficulty of identifying the exact time when a particular instance of shareholder activism occurred.

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