Agency problems as antecedents to unrelated mergers and diversification: Amihud and Lev reconsidered Academic Article uri icon


  • Amihud and Lev (1981) are widely cited as providing evidence that managers, unless closely monitored by large block shareholders, will attempt to reduce their employment risk through unrelated mergers and diversification. These corporate strategies, however, may not be in shareholders' interests. Reconsidering the agency assumptions underlying Amihud and Lev's study and the methodology they used, we develop hypotheses regarding the association between ownership structure, board vigilance, corporate strategy, and corporate performance from management theory and test them using Amihud and Lev's data from the 1960s and new data from the 1980s. Neither study supports the conclusions of Amihud and Lev, nor the agency theory belief that monitoring efforts by principals affect the strategic behaviors of agents or the performance of firms that they manage. 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Lane, P. J., Cannella, A. A., & Lubatkin, M. H.

citation count

  • 201

complete list of authors

  • Lane, PJ||Cannella, AA||Lubatkin, MH

publication date

  • June 1998