Date of Conferral







Steven Tippins


Despite the preponderance of diversified firms, the diversification–performance (D–P) relationship and how insider ownership moderates it in Nigeria remains unclear and a concern for decision makers interested in the survival of firms and their contributions to society. This quantitative study was conducted to examine the D–P relationship and how it is associated with insider ownership in Nigeria. Agency theory and institution-based theory formed the theoretical foundation of this study. Four research questions that focused on how diversification is related to firm performance and how insider ownership moderates this relationship were answered using the panel design variant of correlational research. Data were collected from the annual reports of companies (n=109) listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and the linear mixed model procedure in SPSS 25 was used to test the four hypotheses that were stated. No significant difference in performance between diversified and focused firms was found and there was no significant relationship between level of diversification and firm performance. Insider ownership did not distinguish underperforming from outperforming diversified firms and did not significantly moderate the D–P relationship in Nigeria. These findings are inconsistent with the predictions of institution-based theory and agency theory regarding the performance effects of diversification in emerging markets. The social change implication of these findings is that firms can improve their sustainability and capacity to provide jobs, products, and services society depends on by deemphasizing the diversification decision and insider ownership as a governance mechanism.