Doing Boards-in-Action Research; An Ethnographic Approach for the Capture and Analysis of Directors and Senior Managers Interactive Routines
Nottingham Trent University
Corporate Governance: An International Review, Vol. 8, Issue 3, July 2000
This paper is the first of two papers which will introduce a research approach where groups of directors and senior managers have, not only been observed, but also captured interacting with each other on audio tape recordings. It represents a move from asking board members questions during interviews to seeing and hearing them interactively perform in the boardroom (and elsewhere) over a period of time. When we undertake such ethnographic research what we primarily see is directors and senior managers talking to each other. We suggest that through a close study of their talk-based interpersonal routines, a detailed account of their skills and how factors such as knowledge or know-how and experience are deployed to influence boardroom process is possible. In this first paper our objective is limited to: making a case for a focus upon talk-based interpersonal routines in the boardroom/top management team (TMT); an introductory outline of our theoretical and analytical infrastructure drawn from sociology and; reproducing one illustrative extract of directors; talk to show what this data looks like. We conclude by outlining an emerging alternative avenue for developing boards/TMTs in a grounded and reflective fashion.
JEL Classification: G34, M12, M14Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 28, 2001
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