Date of Award

Summer 8-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration - Strategic Management

Committee Director

Shaomin Li

Committee Member

Brian K. Boyd

Committee Member

Orhun Guldiken

Committee Member

Anil Nair


Although literature on corporate governance and economic geography often explores similar constructs, theories, and other matters, little work has been done examining their joint effects. This two-essay dissertation integrates these literatures in order to partially fill this gap by asking the following research questions:

1.) Do geographic proximity and multiple directorships function as substitutes or complements?

2.) How is the governance of highly innovative firms affected by the presence of Marshallian externalities?

While some scholars suggest that multiple directorships lead to board members neglecting their advisory and monitoring obligations, others have embraced the idea that holding multiple board seats can benefit both the firm and the director. The nature of the relationship between multiple directorships and a variety of firm outcomes has remained the subject of theoretical debates, and findings are often contradictory. Essay 1 offers a possible explanation for these issues by incorporating the geographically bounded nature of multiple directorships in an analysis of their effects on firm acquisition activity. Results offer support for a positive contribution to acquisition performance, with that relationship becoming stronger as geographic distance between the target and acquirer increases. My findings suggest that multiple directorships and geographic distance are complements, but substitutes when they overlap with one another.

Essay 2 reexamines the relationship between corporate governance at the board level and innovation, examining whether and how agglomeration economies influence these relationships. Using a sample drawn from the semiconductor industry, I demonstrate that while firms within an agglomeration configure their governance in a manner consistent with agency theoretic predictions, more remote firms do the opposite. Thus, this essay extends prior research by incorporating agglomeration theory into governance, and specifically exploring the ways in which Marshallian externalities affect intra-firm safeguards against opportunism.