Ownership is considered to be one of the crucial governance mechanisms; however, there have been no systematic attempts at validating the construct and measures used to operationalize ownership. We review the current understanding of ownership and the measures used by each perspective, namely blockholder/dispersed shareholder perspective, owner identity perspective, and aggregated ownership perspective. We thereafter critique each of these perspectives, offer hypotheses regarding their validity, and empirically assess each ownership measure vis-à-vis firm performance outcomes. We utilize a sample of 3,990 US firms to test our hypotheses and find no consistent results for the blockholder measure, or for the owner identity measure. However, the aggregated ownership measure consistently accounts for significant increases in explanation of variance in firm performance.

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Keywords Aggregated ownership, Analyse factorielle, Factor analysis, Identité du propriétaire, Mesure de la propriété, Owner identity, Ownership measure, Ownership-performance relationship, Propriété groupée, Relation propriété-performance
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1002/cjas.1479
Journal Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences
Sur, S, Gassmann, H. (Horand), & Zhang, J. (Jing). (2018). Defining Ownership: An empirical assessment of the ownership measures. Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences. doi:10.1002/cjas.1479