Strategic Performance Information and Canadian Board Involvement in Strategy Related Issues: A Field Study
Anthony C. Atkinson
University of Waterloo
Saint Mary’s University - Sobey School of Business
University of Waterloo - School of Accounting and Finance
January 14, 2012
CAAA Annual Conference 2012
This study contributes to the growing body of research examining the governance processes undertaken by Boards of public companies. Specifically, we investigate the Board’s role in developing, executing and monitoring strategy and the nature and extent of strategic performance information provided to Boards. We also examine directors’ perceptions of indicators of effective Board involvement in strategy-related issues. Despite calls for greater Board involvement in strategy, few studies have examined this issue in a Canadian setting. To address this gap in the literature, we conducted 18 field interviews with directors (n = 14) of Canadian public companies and other governance experts (e.g., former directors, consultants). Our findings indicate Boards are commonly involved in monitoring strategy but there is more variation regarding the extent to which they also play an advisory role in developing and executing strategy. We also find that while Boards typically receive key performance indicators (financial and non-financial) there is limited provision of more strategy-based performance information such as balanced scorecards. Finally, our interviewees indicated that indicators of effective Board involvement in strategy should focus on process measures (e.g., nature and extent of strategy discussions) rather than objective outcomes such as financial performance. Our descriptive, field-based evidence provides a better understanding of Canadian Board involvement in strategy-related issues and suggests important areas for future empirical research.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 28
Keywords: strategy, governance, directors
Date posted: January 15, 2012
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