Asking Directors About Their Dual Roles

51 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2009 Last revised: 13 Nov 2018

Date Written: March 31, 2009


This paper uses a large survey of directors to investigate variation in directors' dual roles as advisors and monitors of management. I examine whether the advisory role encourages information exchange between the CEO and the board, as suggested by Adams and Ferreira (2007). I also examine factors related to directors' perceptions of their roles. Amongst others the data suggests that a) directors vary in their perceptions of their roles and directors' roles affect their perceptions of information exchange, b) directors who agree more that they primarily monitor management perceive that they participate less in boardroom discussion than directors who agree that the CEO often asks them for advice, c) directors with a stronger personal relationship with management perceive their advisory role to be more important, and d) directors on boards with more decision-making power perceive their monitoring role to be less important relative to their advisory role. The results are robust to using Heckman selection techniques to address nonresponse bias. Overall, the data suggests that monitoring alone may not be sufficient for good governance.

Keywords: Board of Directors

JEL Classification: G30

Suggested Citation

Adams, Renée B., Asking Directors About Their Dual Roles (March 31, 2009). Finance and Corporate Governance Conference 2010 Paper, Available at SSRN: or

Renée B. Adams (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

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Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain


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