How To Reduce Agency Problem Pdf

Have you ever heard the term ‘agency problem’ before? If not, don’t fret! Today, I’ll be introducing you to this complex concept that is often discussed in the world of finance and corporate governance.

The Definition of Agency Problem

First and foremost, let’s begin with the definition of agency problem. In layman's terms, it refers to the conflict that arises when there is a divergence of interest between the owner and agent of an organization. Simply put, the person or group of people that own a company (shareholders) may have different objectives than the people who are running it (managers).

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This can lead to serious issues as managers may prioritize their own personal gain over the interests of shareholders. This misalignment of incentives can result in significant financial losses and undermined shareholder trust.

Examples of Agency Problems

An excellent example of agency problem is the principal-agent problem. Let’s say you are the owner of a small tech company and you hire a manager to oversee the day-to-day operations. This manager is the agent in this situation, and you are the principal.

While you want your company to make a profit and increase in value, your manager may be more interested in receiving a high salary or maximizing the company’s growth regardless of profitability.

Another example of agency problem can be seen in shareholder activism. Shareholders who feel that management is not acting in their best interests have the right to confront the board. For instance, a shareholder may demand that the company uses its cash reserves to pay a dividend instead of investing it in new projects.

The Top Three Types of Agency Problem

Now that you have a good understanding of what agency problem is and some of the examples, let’s take a closer look at the three types of agency problem.

1. Management Entrenchment

The first type of agency problem is management entrenchment. This occurs when managers aim to maintain their positions within the company by making it more difficult for shareholders to replace them.

This type of agency problem can take many forms such as setting high compensation levels, developing relationships with board members, or limiting shareholder access to information.

2. Excessive Risk-Taking

The second type of agency problem is excessive risk-taking. Managers may take on more risks than necessary to increase the value of the firm in the short term, for example, by acquiring companies or investing in volatile stock options.

While this may seem like a good strategy, it exposes the company to greater dangers and increases the likelihood of poor performance.

3. Conflict of Interest

The third type of agency problem is the conflict of interest. Managers may place their interests above those of the company and shareholders. For instance, they may engage in insider trading or engage in a self-serving deal.

How to Mitigate Agency Problem

Now that you know everything about agency problem, what can you do about it? The key lies in corporate governance mechanisms that ensure managers act in the best interests of shareholders.

There are several ways to do this, for example, by separating the roles of CEO and the board chair or by implementing compensation plans that are tied to the company’s performance.

Other methods include creating a robust audit committee, encouraging shareholder activism, and ensuring transparency in financial reporting.


So there you have it – everything you need to know about agency problem. I hope this article has helped you understand this complex concept and its many implications.

Remember, corporate governance is essential in ensuring that managers act in the best interests of shareholders. Without it, agency problem can lead to significant financial losses and undermine the trust of shareholders.

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