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ISSN : 1598-7248 (Print)
ISSN : 2234-6473 (Online)
Industrial Engineering & Management Systems Vol.18 No.3 pp.395-406
DOI : https://doi.org/10.7232/iems.2019.18.3.395

The Impact of Government, Foreign and Institutional Ownership and Firm Performance on Audit Quality Using Regression Analysis

Ebrahim Mohammed Al-Matari*, Adeeb Abdulwahab Al-Hebry
Department of Accounting, College of Humanities and Administrative Sciences, Jouf University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Amran University, Yemen
Department of Business Administration, Community College - Muhayil, King Khalid University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2 Ibb University, Yemen
Corresponding Author, E-mail: almuhsen.ala.al@gmail.com
May 29, 2019 June 17, 2019 June 20, 2019

ABSTRACT


Ownership structure proves to be one of the major factors affecting company accounting and market-based performance. The current study explored the direct ownership structure characteristics-performance relationship, with the former including government ownership, foreign ownership, and institutional ownership. The target sample of the study comprised of Omani non-financial firms examined in a three-year period. In addition, the study explored the moderating role of audit quality on the relationship between ownership structure and ROA, while considering the role of leverage as a control variable. The OLS regression was adopted to examine the direct government, ownership, foreign ownership and institutional ownership relationship with ROA, whereas the Hierarchical Multiple Regression was adopted to examine audit quality role as a moderating variable on the direct relationships. The obtained results revealed a significant and positive relationship between government ownership and foreign ownership and ROA, but an insignificant one between ROA and institutional ownership. The results also did not support the examined moderating role of audit quality on the above direct relationships. Towards the end, the study enumerated recommendations for future work.



초록


    1. INTRODUCTION

    The reach of corporate governance mechanisms and regulations have encompassed the whole business world because of their effective role in improving the overall economic development and in providing benefits to the stakeholders (individuals and organizations) as expounded on by Hsu and Petchsakulwong (2010). In this regard, investors, both local and international are prefer firms employing corporate governance mechanisms, with the codes hindering issues from arising and minimizing the over-arching reach of corruption, and ultimately, developing the growth of the firm and the whole economy (Al-Matari et al., 2012;Al-Matari et al., 2013;Al-Matari et al., 2017). Among the governance mechanisms, ownership structure is one of the top ones that have been expansively focused on in literature in the past several years. Considered from the perspective of the firm theory in modern corporations, Berle and Means (1932) revealed that enhancing ownership diffusion can result in decreasing the power of the shareholders in manipulating management. Along a similar line of study, Demsetz and Lehn (1985) revealed that the concept of ownership structure promotes the endogenous determination of ownership for enhanced firm performance that the owners can leverage.

    More importantly, corporate governance mecha-nisms also minimize the occurrence of conflicts of inter-ests among firms and institutions and they mitigate the agency costs brought on by the separation of ownership of the company from its control. This premise was pro-moted by Fama and Jensen (1983a) and Jensen and Meckling (1976), while other studies showed that such mechanisms can facilitate enhanced value of the firm (e.g., Weir et al., 2002). In the context of the current public organizations, the ownership-management separation is the ownership structure that dominates (Sing and Sirmans, 2008).

    Relating this argument to the resource-dependence theory, ownership is deemed to be a good power source that can support/negate the management’ activities, specifically when it comes to ownership concentration and implementation (Kahaki and Jenaabad, 2014). Consequently, ownership structure is considered to have an important role in corporate governance in that it clarifies the way the system of corporate governance can be enhanced for policy makers to adopt (Fazlzadeh et al., 2011;Laamena et al., 2018). In developed nations, dispersed ownership structure dominates relative to their developing counterparts as in the latter countries, the legal systems set up are ineffective to safeguard the investors’ interests and concentrated ownership dominates (Ehikioya, 2009). However, despite the fact that ownership structure basically works to enhance performance, studies have largely ignored the concept, especially when it comes to its influence on the firm’s performance. Studies have been confined to the examination of the relationship between board characteristics, audit committee, CEO and firm performance (e.g., Rouf, 2011;Yasser et al., 2011;Tau-baye et al., 2018).

    Moreover, an external auditor is responsible for ensuring that the board of directors (BOD) relay financial statements that are accurate and authentic to shareholders (Mautz and Sharaf, 1961). Such BOD function mitigates the information asymmetry that is present between management and stakeholders as explained in Fama (1980). Added to this, an external auditor can also be deemed as a controlling factor that the firm can leverage to handle agency issues and changes in the financial statement (Jensen and Meckling, 1976). In other words, external auditor de-creases the control-ownership gap (Fama and Jensen, 1983b).

    Taking the argument further, the external shareholders relationship with managers is saturated with moral hazards and chances for opportunism that information asymmetry can bring about, which is why financial reporting’s main objective is to differentiate between firm control and its ownership (Wan et al., 2008). This is also the reason behind the consideration of accounting numbers as top indicators of management performance and a reflection of the role of institutional ownership in monitoring the audit process. Stated clearly, institutional investors hold the right to request for the authentic and accurate information of the firm (Adeyemi and Fagbemi, 2010). This finding was supported by Kane and Velury (2004) who stated that greater institutional ownership leads to greater potential for the firm to purchase audit services from the major auditing firms for optimum quality of audit.

    Empirical studies dedicated to the ownership struc-ture-firm performance relationship have been few over the years although several studies have been conducted on the subject. The findings of some empirical studies supported a positive relationship (e.g., Barontini and Caprio, 2006;Chen et al., 2006;Gitundu et al., 2016;Ting et al., 2016;Martínez-Alcalá et al., 2018), while others supported a negative relationship such as those reported by Brown and Caylor (2004). Some others reported no relationship at all (e.g., Fooladi, 2011;Musallam, 2015;Muhammad, 2018). The mixed findings available in literature requires extensive studies to focus on the relationship between ownership structure and firm performance as prior authors have suggested including Rouf (2011), Al-Matari et al. (2012), Al-Matari et al. (2017), Kajola (2008), Liang et al. (2011) and Millet-Reyes and Zhao (2010). It is notable that ownership structure primarily functions to align ownership and management and therefore, this study explores the relationship between the characteristics of ownership structure, which are government ownership, institutional ownership and foreign ownership, and the firm performance.

    The above explanation reveals that the findings obtained in this study are expected to add to literature by minimizing the literature gap when it comes to the relationship between ownership structure and Omani firms’ performance, with the moderating role of audit quality. In the coming sections, the procedures employed in this study to realize the objectives of the study are presented.

    2. LITERATURE REVIEW AND HYPOTHESES DEVELOPMENT

    2.1 Government Ownership and Firm Performance

    In past studies like Ghazali (2010), Najid and Rah-man (2011) and Gitundu et al. (2016), the authors used the ratio of government-owned firm shares for the measurement of government ownership. In the viewpoint of the agency theory, government ownership is the solution to the issue of information asymmetry arising from the asymmetrical information provided to the investors regarding the value of the firm. Added to this, Jensen and Meckling (1979) explained that government-owned shares are useful in aligning the interests of owners and managers together. State-owned and controlled firms are generally capable of accessing information from multiple sources as well as finances from other resources when compared to other firms (Eng and Mak, 2003). In this regard, the resource dependence theory argues that outsourcing assists firms in obtaining financial resources from sources possessing various experiences and qualifications and this mitigates the capital cost. State-owned firms are also efficient in monitoring several aspects in order to achieve a working environment conducive to development that could improve the performance of the firm (Pfeffer, 1973). Therefore, in this study, government is considered among the top effective and efficient outsourcing entities that contribute to firm performance. In relation to this, the selection of a suitable governance mechanism can bring about the alignment between management interests to those of the owners.

    The issue arises from the lack of studies dedicated to the relationship between government ownership and firm performance with some of the few studies reporting a positive relationship in the context of developed nations (e.g., Ivashkovskaya and Zinkevich, 2009) and developing ones (e.g., Aljifri and Moustafa, 2007;Ghazali, 2010;Najid and Rahman, 2011;Gitundu et al., 2016;Farzadnia et al., 2017;Gumel, 2017). Meanwhile, some other findings reported by Al-Farooque et al. (2007), Al-Hussain and Johnson (2009) and Musallam (2015) supported a negative relationship between government ownership and firm performance. Based on the above discussion of the findings in literature, this study proposes the testing of the following hypothesis;

    • H1: There is a positive relationship between gov-ernment ownership and firm performance.

    2.2 Foreign Ownership and Firm Performance

    Several studies in literature have been dedicated to examining foreign shareholders (measured by ratio of foreign ownership stakeholders to total stakeholders) impact on corporate governance and these include those by Al-Manaseer et al. (2012), Chari et al. (2012), Uwuigbe and Olusanmi (2012), Musallam (2015), Phung and Mishra (2016) and Ting et al. (2016).

    To begin with, in Al-Manaseer et al.’s (2012) study, the authors evidenced the impact of foreign ownership on the profitability of banking institutions. A significant portion of foreign shareholders will contribute to the confidence of potential shareholders in the company and result in higher firm valuation (Ghazali, 2010).

    Moving on to the agency theory, whose basis if built on the principal-agent relationship, it posits a distinction between ownership and management in current firms. Current organizations are characterized by extensively dispersed ownership comprising of shareholders who are separate from firm management. In this background, foreign investors are deemed to be one of the major sources of capital for a company (Pfeffer, 1973;Pfeffer and Salancik, 1978) that helps the company to control management in terms of decision-making and provide a source of foreign experience and expertise and a clear picture of foreign investments, and this ultimately results in the enhanced performance of the firm.

    Studies that investigated the foreign ownership-firm performance relationship make up a major portion of literature but despite this fact, inconclusive findings were reported. In developed countries, some studies (e.g., Chari et al., 2012;Ghahroudi, 2011) indicated a positive relationship, and similarly in developing countries several studies also reported the same (e.g., Al-Manaseer et al., 2012;Ghazali, 2010;Uwuigbe and Olusanmi, 2012;Musallam, 2015;Phung and Mishra, 2016;Ting et al., 2016). However, not all studies reported a positive relationship as others in both country groups found no relationship between the two variables; for instance, Millet-Reyes and Zhao (2010) and Shan and McIver (2011) both groups of studies dedicated to foreign ownership and firm performance relationship in developing and developed nations revealed no relationship between the two (e.g., Gurbuz and Aybars, 2010;Tsegba and Ezi-Herbert, 2011). Therefore, this study proposes that;

    • H2: There is a positive relationship between foreign ownership and firm performance

    2.3 Institutional Ownership and Firm Performance

    Past studies on institutional ownership used the ratio of institutional shareholding against the aggregate number of shares to measure the variable (e.g., Fazlzadeh et al., 2011;Nuryanah and Islam, 2011;Gitundu et al., 2016). The institutional investor variable has been extensively discussed in light of the firm’s governance system in literature (Khanchel, 2007), with a positive relationship advocated between the two as evidenced by Khan et al. (2011).

    In a related study, Cremers and Nair (2005) revealed that an institutional investor type of ownership (pension funds) may have higher tendency to control management, and this notion is consistent with the perspective of the agency theory. The theory posits that the separation between ownership and management can lead to increased shareholder value and autonomy in decision making. Similarly, the resource dependence theory posits that outsourcing brings collaboration opportunities with experts/professionals that are outside the firm and such individuals can be motivated to increase the shareholders’ value.

    It should be noted that the link between institutional ownership and firm performance have been examined in literature and the obtained findings are mixed. For instance, in Harjoto and Jo (2008) and Ivashkovskaya and Zinkevich’s (2009) studies of developed nations, a positive relationship was reported. This finding is similarly reported in developing nations by Fazlzadeh et al. (2011), Liang et al. (2011), Nuryanah and Islam (2011), Uwuigbe and Olusanmi (2012) and Gitundu et al. (2016). In contrast, other studies reported a negative relationship in developed nations (Mura, 2007) and in developing ones (Al-Farooque et al., 2007;Mashayekhi and Bazaz, 2008). Still others reported the lack of relationship between the two in both country groups (Aljifri and Moustafa, 2007;Chung et al., 2008). In light of the above discussion, this study tests the following proposed hypothesis;

    • H3: There is a positive relationship between institu-tional ownership and firm performance.

    2.4 Moderating Effect of Audit Quality on the Relationship between Ownership Structure and Firm Performance

    According to Mautz and Sharaf (1961), the external auditor is responsible to ensure that the board of directors presents accurate and reliable financial statements to the shareholders. In essence, external auditors function towards minimizing the potential presence of information asymmetry between management and shareholders (Fama, 1980) and this is the reason why external auditor is considered to be a controlling mechanism of the firm that is useful in solving agency problems and accounting infor-mation manipulation (Jensen and Meckling, 1976;Syam et al., 2017). The external auditor also minimizes the ownership-management gap (Fama and Jensen, 1983b).

    In the same line of argument, the external shareholders-management relationship is rife with moral hazard and opportunities behavior of management that is brought about by the inaccurate information provided to the shareholders. This argument was supported by Wan et al. (2008), when they stated that the financial statements social role is primarily to differentiate between control and ownership, with the accounting numbers indicative of management performance. Therefore, institutional ownership has a key role in the process of auditing and institutional investors have all the right to request for high quality audit and accurate firm information (Adeyemi and Fagbemi, 2010). According to Kane and Velury (2004), the higher the institutional ownership, the higher will be the potential of the firm to hire audit services from the Big-4 for optimum auditing quality.

    Literature also advocates the positive relationship between professional audit and audit quality; for instance, Chanawongse et al. (2011), although aside from a few studies, no relationship was found between the two variables (see Dehkordi and Makarem, 2011). In sum, the author argues that audit quality enhances the ability of corporate governance to produce optimum performance and as such, based on the argument above, this study proposes that; The research framework of the current study have shown in Figure 1.

    • H4: Audit quality has a moderating effect on the relationship between ownership structure and firm performance.

    • H4a: Audit quality has a moderating effect on the relationship between government ownership and firm performance

    • H4b: Audit quality has a moderating effect on the relationship between foreign ownership and firm performance

    • H4c: Audit quality has a moderating effect on the relationship between institutional ownership and firm performance.

    3. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

    The study sample consisted of 81 non-financial firms from the industry and service sector yearly, and thus, for three years during focused period (2012-2014), the total firms were 162. Data was garnered from the annual reports of listed firms in the Muscat Stock Ex-change. The summary of variables measurement has presented in Table 1. In the next section, the study measurements and model are presented.

    4. RESEARCH DESIGN

    This study employed a correlation study design to meet its objectives, which is primarily to explore the relationship between the characteristics of ownership structure, which are government ownership, foreign ownership and institutional ownership, and firm performance gauged through ROA. The study also examines the moderating role of audit quality on the above direct relationships. Firm performance, as mentioned, is gauged through ROA, which refers to the financial ratio that indicates the profit percentage earned by the firm in relation to the whole firm resources. ROA is measured by dividing net income over total assets, with the former obtained from the com-pany’s income statement and the latter obtained from the firm’s balance sheet that consists of land, capital equipment depreciated, inventories, intellectual property (e.g., patents) and receivables.

    5. DATA COLLECTION PROCEDURE

    With regards to the data concerning the variables of corporate governance and firm performance, the study gathered them from the Omani listed company’s annual reports via the website of Muscat Securities market (MSM) (http://www.msm.gov.com/). Data was obtained from the part of the annual report that provides information on corporate governance in light of statements included in the profile of the director. As for the data regarding the performance of the firm, it was taken from the balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement of the annual report, while Data Stream was used to obtain stock prices from.

    5.1 Unit of Analysis

    The present study examined the relationship on the corporate unit level and as such, the unit of analysis is considered as the public-listed companies in Oman.

    6. PROPOSED DATA ANALYSIS TECHNIQUE

    The collected data analysed with the use of IBM SPSS (22) for the purpose of describing the data and testing the hypothesised relationships.

    6.1 Descriptive Analysis

    The descriptive analysis reported the mean, minimum, maximum and the standard deviation of every variable.

    6.2 Correlation of Variables

    This study explored the interconnections among the study variables, using the correlation analysis, and from the results, the variables’ correlation, direction, nature and significance were highlighted.

    6.3 Multiple Linear Regression Analysis

    As discussed earlier, to test proposed model, this study employed the Multiple Linear Regressions (MLR) using IBM SPSS. For testing the hypothesised moderat-ing effect, this study utilised the hierarchical multiple regression analysis (HMLR).

    7. DATA ANALYSIS AND RESULTS

    7.1 Descriptive Statistic and Normality Test

    As it can be seen in Table 2, in order to conduct the descriptive statistics of the variables involving the values of mean, standard deviation, minimum and maximum, this study made use of SPSS, Version 22. The study also used multiple regression analysis to analyze the correlation among the variables. Correlation analysis is invaluable in providing a description of the linear relationship between two variables by providing the strength and the direction of the relationship. In this study, normality is described as the symmetrical curve development at the highest frequency of scores that lies towards the small and medium frequencies extremes. As for the distribution of the normality scores for independent and dependent variables, it is confirmed by obtaining the skewness and kurtosis values (Kline, 2015;Pallant, 2011). In the field of social science, Pallant (2011) explained that the nature of the construct is characterized by the measures skewness signs (positive/negative) and value. Meanwhile, kurtosis is the measurement score of the distribution, which re-flects the observations level surrounding the central mean. The values of skewness and kurtosis in this study meets the criteria established by Kline (2015), in that the skewness values remained between (±3), while the kurtosis ones remained between (±10).

    7.2 Correlation Analysis

    Generally speaking, correlation analysis is useful in carrying out multiple regression analysis as it provides a description of the linear relationship between two con-structs in terms of the relationship strength as well as direction (Pallant, 2011). This study’s correlation analysis findings are presented in Table 3, where it can be noted that the values remained under 0.90, satisfying the recommendation made by Gujarati and Porter (2009). They argued that multicollinearity remains a non-issue if the correlation matrix is lower than 0.90.

    8. REGRESSION RESULTS BASED ON ACCOUNTING MEASURE

    8.1 Regression Results of Model (Based on Accounting Measure)

    The results of the adjusted coefficient of determination (R2) supports that the independent variables managed to explain 0.487% of the dependent variable’s variation. The ROA variation was explained by the regression equation and the model significance is illustrated in Table 4, where F value is (F = 18.319, p < 0.01), supporting the validity of the model.

    Additionally, this study employed the Durbin-Watson (DW) test to statistically confirm the autocorrelation, following the rule of thumb concerning the acceptable range (1.5-2.5). The obtained DW value is 1.833, which is within the range, indicating the independence of observations. Aside from the above analysis, the Tolerance value (VIF) was also obtained for collinearity test, after which, no issue was detected.

    Moving on to the multiple regression analysis, the detailed results of the analysis is tabulated in Table 4. In some cases, when VIF values go beyond 10, there is high correlation of the independent variables that could lead to issues of multicollinearity. In this study, VIF values were obtained and the results in Table 4 show the absence of multicollinearity issue as the values of VIF remained under 10.

    8.2 Hierarchical Multiple Linear Regression Results

    In the third model, the initial step entails the testing of the strength of audit quality in its prediction of ROA, and the results indicated that audit quality significantly predicted ROA (F = 23.81, p < 0.01), with adjusted R2 being 23%. The model is significant at the 0.01 level but R2 remained significantly the same (0.000, p < 0.01), when audit quality was added and thus, the variable had no significant effect on the explanatory model. Moving on to leverage, it was found to significantly predict ROA (β = -0.405, t = -6.818, p < 0.01), similar to government ownership (β = 0.147, t = 2.469, p < 0.01).

    As it can be seen in Table 5, the testing of direct ef-fects, the moderating effect of audit quality on government interaction and ROA was tested and although there is significant interaction between audit quality and government ownership at the significance level of 0.01 (F = 17.784, p < 0.01), no moderating effects were detected between government ownership and ROA (R2 change = .000, p < 0.01). The same was found for leverage – in that although it significantly predicted ROA (β = -0.405, t = -6.794, p < 0.01), no moderating impact of audit quality was found on the relationship (β = -0.007, t = -0.059, p > 0.1).

    In the third model, audit quality was found to significantly affect firm performance (F = 22.005, p < 0.01), with adjusted R2 of 22%, leverage was found to significant predict ROA (β = -7.924, t = -6.818, p < 0.01), and foreign ownership also predicted ROA (β = .078, t = 1.350, p.0.1). However, with the incorporation of the moderating variable, no effects were detected (.000, p < 0.01). Stated clearly, leverage was found to be a signifi-cant predictor of ROA (β = -.454, t = -7.863, p < 0.01), but moderating effects of audit quality were not detected on the relationship between the two (β = .048, t = .445, p > 0.1) (See Table 6, 7).

    The results also showed the predictive power of au-dit quality over firm performance (F = 21.098, p < 0.01), with adjusted R2 of 21%, with R2 significant at the level of 0.000, p < 0.01. Leverage had a predictive power over ROA (β = -0.45, t = -7.795, p < 0.01) and institutional ownership had none with the indicators (β = 0.012, t = 0.198, p > 0.1). Moreover, when the moderating effects were tested, no significant relationship was found (R2 change = .000, p < 0.01). In sum, leverage was found to be a significant predictor of ROA, but audit quality did not moderate the relationship (β = -0.141, t = -1.398, p>0.1).

    9. DISCUSSION OF RESULTS

    This section discusses and justifies the obtained re-sults. This study’s primary objective was to examine the direct relationship between the characteristics of owner-ship structure, which are government ownership, foreign ownership and institutional ownership, and ROA. The study also aimed to examine the moderating role of audit quality on the direct relationships. According to the obtained results, government ownership positively and significantly related to ROA (H1 is supported). This result supported the ones reported by Ivashkovskaya and Zinkevich (2009) (developed countries) and Aljifri and Moustafa (2007), Ghazali (2010), Najid and Rahman (2011) and Gitundu et al. (2016) (developing countries). The significant relationship highlighted by this study between government and firm ownership may be attributed to the usefulness of outsourcing in setting up sources of funds that involves the role of experienced and qualified individuals, driving capital costs down. This may also be attributed to the personalities that facilitate positive working environment and enhance company performance (Pfeffer, 1973).

    Moving on to the results of the foreign ownership and ROA, a positive and significant relationship was supported (H2). This is consistent with the results reported by prior studies in both developed nations (Chari et al., 2012;Ghahroudi, 2011) and developing ones (Al-Manaseer et al., 2012;Ghazali, 2010;Uwuigbe and Olusanmi, 2012;Musallam, 2015;Phung and Mishra, 2016;Ting et al., 2016). The presence of the positive and significant association between foreign ownership and ROA may be justified by the fact that one of the primary capital sources of the firm is its investors (Pfeffer, 1973;Pfeffer and Salancik, 1978). Stated clearly, foreign investors are useful in extending oversight over management’s decision making. Investors may also be the source of foreign expertise and they provide insight into foreign investments, which eventually, will contribute to the firm’s optimum perfor-mance.

    Finally, there was no significant relationship be-tween institutional ownership and ROA (H3 was rejected). This result was similar to the prior results reported by Aljifri and Moustafa (2007), Chung et al. (2008) (developing countries). The insignificant relationship between the two variables may be attributed to the differentiation between ownership and management that may have played a role in increasing the shareholders’ value and their autonomous decision making, which would eventually lead to negatively effects on their decisions.

    As for tested moderating effects of audit quality on the ownership-firm performance relationship, the findings revealed no support and this may be explained by the under-qualified auditors in the auditing profession in Oman. The obtained results revealed that 33% of the sample firms did not use the Big-4 to review their annual reports, as this was not mandated by policy makers. Hence, in this regard, policy makers have to mandate that Omani listed firms have to have their financial statements reviewed by Big-4 firms for accurate information. This will facilitate investors’ informed decision making. In fact, the Big-4 firms establish an environment that the investors can trust and invest in without being concerned about risks.

    10. CONCLUSION

    This study examined the direct relationships between the characteristics of ownership structure, which are government ownership, foreign ownership and institutional ownership, and firm performance (proxied by ROA) among non-financial firms in the Omani context spanning a three-year period from 2012 until 2014. The study explored the moderating effect of audit quality on the direct relationships examined.

    This study conducted analyses to explore the rela-tionships among the variables (independent, dependent and moderating) using multiple regression analysis, hier-archical regression analysis, among others. On the basis of the findings obtained from the analyses, all the characteristics of ownership structure examined, with the exception institutional ownership, had a significant relationship with firm performance. The study findings also did not detect moderating effects of audit quality on the direct relationships.

    10.1 Limitations and Suggestions for Future Research

    This study has its own limitations, among which, is the confined examination to government ownership, foreign ownership and institutional ownership. Therefore, in future studies other additional variables can be examined like ownership concentration and managerial ownership. This study also focused on the ownership structure characteristics in light of their relationship with firm performance and as such, future studies can instead shift their focus to the internal corporate governance variables like board characteristics, audit committee characteristics, risk committee characteristics, purchase committee characteristics, board diversity, internal audit characteristics, and others, in terms of their contribution to the firms enhanced performance. This study also dealt with the Omani context, specifically the Omani listed firms and hence, future studies can be conducted in the GCC region for comparison of results.

    While ROA was considered in this study as the de-pendent variable, future studies can combine accounting measures and market measures to offer an even deeper insight into the performance of firms. Future studies are also recommended to shed light on top management variables and their relationship with firm performance. Lastly, this study examined the moderating impact of audit quality on the ownership structure-firm performance relationship, and thus, future studies can select other moderating variables and test their effects on the corporate governance-firm performance relationship, and such variables can be culture, CSR, political turmoil and board diversity.

    Figure

    IEMS-18-3-395_F1.gif

    Research framework.

    Table

    Summary of variables measurement

    Descriptive statistics of continuous variables

    Results of pearson correlation analysis

    Regression results of model (dependent= ROA)

    The moderating effect of the audit quality on the relationship between government ownership and ROA

    The moderating effect of the audit quality on the relationship between foreign ownership and ROA

    The moderating effect of the audit quality on the relationship between institutional ownership and ROA

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