Cleaning house or jumping ship? Understanding board upheaval following financial fraud



Boards experience elevated levels of turnover among outside directors following financial fraud. Scholars have proposed two mechanisms that may drive this turnover. The first views turnover as part of a board's efforts to repair organizational legitimacy and avert resource withdrawal. The second argues that turnover is a byproduct of individual directors' efforts to safeguard their own reputations and mitigate professional devaluation. We use data on director departures following 63 fraud events to explore the relative importance of these two mechanisms. The results clarify our understanding of responses to governance failures and the challenges of reconstituting board membership following financial improprieties. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.