Individual shareholder activism in South Africa : the case of Theo Botha

Viviers, Suzette (2016)

CITATION: Viviers, S. 2016. Individual shareholder activism in South Africa : the case of Theo Botha. Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences, 9(2):347-369.

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Shareholder activists play a key role in monitoring managerial behaviour. This study was undertaken given the paucity of research on the shareholder activism as practised by individual shareholders. Accordingly, the motives, modus operandi and sources of salience of Mr Theo Botha, a well-known shareholder activist in South Africa, were investigated. Document analysis and an in-depth interview conducted with Botha revealed that he not only has a clear goal, but is also very passionate about achieving his goal. Botha prepares meticulously before engaging companies across the economic spectrum. In addition to possessing normative power, Botha also exhibits individual, pragmatic and societal legitimacy. His assertiveness, persistence and willingness to apply his own resources significantly contribute to his prominence as a corporate watchdog. Shareholder activists who wish to become more salient (irrespective of their size) could learn from Botha’s experiences over the past decade.

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