On 18 May at 14:15 Virgo Süsi will defend his doctoral thesis “Corporate governance and performance of private SMEs” for obtaining the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (in Business Administration).
Research Fellow Krista Jaakson, University of Tartu
Associate Professor Oliver Lukason, University of Tartu
Associate Professor Olof Brunninge, Jönköping University (Sweden)
Professor Valdonė Darškuvienė, ISM University of Management (Lithuania)
Corporate governance deals with allocation of roles, responsibilities and authority among firms’ owners, supervisory and management boards. Such division of power and roles at the top of the firm influences the key decisions and consequently the performance of the firm. While corporate governance of large public firms has been researched extensively, the study of corporate governance of private small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) is relatively fragmented, despite the fact that majority of firms globally are private SMEs and the findings from the large public firm context are often not applicable for them. This thesis, however, focuses specifically on the latter context.
The thesis is based on three original empirical articles. The first article presents a specific design for corporate governance used by professional private SME owners (a private equity fund). The study discusses which problems and how are addressed with that corporate governance design. The second article analyses links between various management board characteristics and the financial performance of private SMEs while the third article discusses links between changes in the management board and subsequent strategic changes of firms.
The thesis concludes with several contributions to theory as well as practical implications for private SME owners, supervisory and management boards. On general level, the thesis discusses opportunities for enhancing private SME performance by improving corporate governance designs. For example, how could owners contribute to the firm performance, even if they are not participating in the daily management of the firm, or how to engage the supervisory board in performance improvement in their various roles beyond the control function required by the law.