Board Composition and Dividend Decisions of Companies Listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange Kenya
Boards play a vital role in the field of corporate governance in corporate by acting as the overall governing body on all affairs of an organization. Dividend decisions determine the amount of retained earnings that serve as an internal source of finance for most listed companies. The main purpose of this study was to determine how board composition affected dividend decisions of companies listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange. The study was guided by the following specific objectives: to determine the effect of Director Skills on dividend decisions of companies listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, to establish relationship between board independence and dividend decisions companies, listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, to examine the effect of board diversity on dividend decisions of companies listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange and to investigate the effect of board tenure on dividend decisions companies listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange. The study was anchored on the following theories: agency theory, stakeholder’s theory and stewardship theory. The study adopted a descriptive research design. The population of this study consisted of 700 top management staff drawn from all the 64 firms listed at Nairobi Securities Exchange. Stratified random sampling technique was used to select the sample. The sample size consisted of 254 top management staff of all the 64 listed firms at Nairobi Securities Exchange. The study used both secondary and primary data. Primary data was collected using questionnaires which were structured. Collected research data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Scientists software. The analysis was done using both descriptive and inferential statistics. This study provides an objective assessment of the available data and studies regarding the effect of board composition on dividend decisions of companies listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange. The findings are appropriate and relevant for seeking a solution to combating poor board compositions among listed companies which improve their dividend decisions. This study has intellectual importance especially to other companies not listed on Nairobi Securities Exchange but facing similar problems with their board composition. It provides essential information for scholars seeking a wide variety of options towards approaching the issue of board composition and dividend decisions of companies. At 5% level of significance, directors’ skills, board independence and board tenure were found to be statistically significant while board diversity was not significant. The study used the F- statistic to test the overall significance of the regression model and the model was found statistically significant and suitable for this study. The model had an R2 of 0.7769 implying that variations in the four independent variables accounted for 77.7% of variations in the dependent variable which was further proof that the model was statistically significant and suitable for the study since it explained nearly all the variability of the dependent variable. It is against this backdrop that this research study arrived at conclusions including that profitability had the greatest influence on dividend payout for firms listed at the NSE and recommended among others, that companies listed at the NSE observe and manage well their policies dealing with the four independent variables. Finally, the study made various recommendations among them, further similar research using multiple economic factors. This will enable a thorough research as it gives a wholesome approach to establishing determinants of dividend payout for firms listed at the NSE.