When are outside directors more effective monitors? Evidence from real activities manipulation

Jeff Zeyun Chen, Marc Cussatt, Katherine A Gunny
Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance,Pages: 0148558X17692691.
A large body of the corporate governance literature examines the disciplinary role of outside directors in overseeing the CEO. Although it is certainly a critical factor in effective monitoring, independence alone is not sufficient. Fulfilling the monitoring role also requires a skilled and knowledgeable board (Acharya, Myers, & Rajan, 2011; Adams & Ferreira 2007; Raheja, 2005). The skills and knowledge needed for monitoring vary with the type of CEO activity being monitored. For certain managerial actions that require sufficient firm-specific knowledge and expertise to exercise discipline, board informedness could be at least as critical as board independence. Given the trade-off between informedness and independence, outside directors are not necessarily better monitors than inside directors due to information disadvantages. 1 In this study, we examine whether and to what extent an independent board constrains