The paper examines the relation between changing ownership structure and performance of Australian building societies. An analysis and discussion of the theories of organizational development and change is undertaken to explore the mutual building societies' motivation for change. The financial performance measures, provided by financial ratios of the major mutual building societies in Australia, are examined to assess the behaviour of building societies under different governance structures in the 1980s and 1990s. The theoretical and empirical literature has suggested that mutual deposit-taking institutions should have lov^^er profitability and higher operating expenses than their publicly listed counterparts. Accounting ratios are observed over time to investigate if governance change in mutual deposit-taking organizations accounted for any discernable differences in profitability and cost efficiency pre- and post- demutualization. The study finds support for the contention that demutualized building societies will have higher profitability and lower costs than their mutual counterparts. The study is confined to investigation of the six largest building societies that undertook the demutualization process. It could he extended to the entire building society sector. The results have implications for investors, managers and 'ovraers' of firms that retain their mutual structure, suggesting the demutualization vnû benefit these groups. There is no study that compares mutual deposit-taking institutions pre- and post-conversion in Australia.
Field of Research
150399 Business and Management not elsewhere classified
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