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The Effect of Board Diversity on Corporate Financial Performance of Listed Pharmaceutical Companies in Nigeria

Chapter Two

Conceptual Review

Corporate Financial Performance

Corporate financial performance is a critical measure of a company’s overall health and its ability to generate profits. It encompasses various financial metrics such as return on assets (ROA), return on equity (ROE), net profit margin, and earnings per share (EPS). These metrics provide insights into how efficiently a company utilizes its resources to generate earnings and sustain growth over time. Effective measurement of financial performance is essential for stakeholders, including investors, management, and policymakers, as it influences decisions related to investments, strategic planning, and regulatory frameworks (Naz, Ijaz, & Naqvi, 2016).

Financial performance is influenced by numerous internal and external factors, including the company’s governance structure, market conditions, and management practices. Strong corporate governance, characterized by effective oversight and strategic direction from the board, is crucial in driving superior financial outcomes. The composition and diversity of the board play a significant role in shaping corporate policies and strategies that can enhance performance. A diverse board brings a range of perspectives, expertise, and experiences, which can lead to more informed and balanced decision-making (Herrmann & Datta, 2005).

The relationship between board diversity and financial performance has been a subject of extensive research. Studies suggest that diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity, and tenure can contribute to improved financial results. Diverse boards are better equipped to understand and respond to the needs of a diverse customer base, fostering innovation and adaptability in dynamic markets. Moreover, they can enhance the company’s reputation and stakeholder relationships, which are vital for long-term success (Harjoto, Laksmana, & Yang, 2018).

One of the key mechanisms through which board diversity influences financial performance is through enhanced governance practices. Diverse boards tend to exhibit greater vigilance and a higher propensity for challenging management decisions, thereby reducing the likelihood of financial mismanagement and fraud. This heightened oversight can lead to more prudent risk-taking and better alignment of management’s actions with shareholders’ interests. Consequently, companies with diverse boards often demonstrate greater financial stability and resilience (Myskoya & Hajek, 2017).

Another important aspect of corporate financial performance is the role of external market conditions and competitive dynamics. Companies operate in environments characterized by varying degrees of competition, economic fluctuations, and regulatory changes. The ability to navigate these external factors effectively is a determinant of financial performance. Companies that can adapt their strategies in response to market changes are more likely to maintain robust financial health. This adaptability is often facilitated by a diverse board that can draw on a wide range of experiences and insights to anticipate and respond to market trends (Ilaboya & Ashafoke, 2017).

Furthermore, corporate financial performance is linked to the strategic investments made by the company. Investment in innovation, research and development, and market expansion are crucial for sustaining growth and competitive advantage. Diverse boards can provide valuable input into these investment decisions, ensuring that they are well-aligned with the company’s long-term goals and risk appetite. Effective investment oversight by a diverse board can lead to higher returns on investment and improved overall financial performance (Igbekoyi, Adegbayibi, & Adesina, 2021).

The cultural context within which a company operates also affects its financial performance. Cultural diversity on the board can enhance the company’s understanding of different markets and customer segments, leading to better-tailored products and services. This cultural insight is particularly important for multinational corporations that operate across diverse regions. By leveraging the cultural expertise of a diverse board, companies can achieve greater market penetration and customer satisfaction, driving financial performance (Luo, Lim, Qu, & Zhang, 2021).

In addition to diversity, the tenure of board members is another factor that influences corporate financial performance. Boards with a mix of experienced and newer members can benefit from a balance of stability and fresh perspectives. Long-tenured board members bring deep organizational knowledge and continuity, while newer members contribute innovative ideas and challenge the status quo. This combination can foster dynamic and effective governance, ultimately leading to better financial outcomes (Ji, Peng, Sun, & Xu, 2021).


  • Low, D. C., Roberts, H., & Whiting, R. (2015). Board gender diversity and firm performance: Empirical evidence from Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore. Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, 35(1), 381-401.
  • Luo, K., Lim, E., Qu, W., & Zhang, X. (2021). Board cultural diversity, government intervention and corporate innovation effectiveness: Evidence from China. Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics, 17(1), 1-22.
  • Mohsni, S., Otchere, I., & Shahriar, S. (2021). Board gender diversity, firm performance, and risk-taking in developing countries: The moderating effect of culture. Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions & Money, 73(C). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intfin.2021.101360.
  • Myskoya, R., & Hajek, P. (2017). Comprehensive assessment of firm financial performance using financial ratios and linguistic analysis of annual reports. Journal of International Studies, 10(4), 96-108. https://doi.org/10.14254/2071-8330.2017/10-4/7.
  • Naz, F., Ijaz, F., & Naqvi, F. (2016). Financial performance of firms: Evidence from Pakistan cement industry. Journal of Teaching and Education, 5(1), 81-94.


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