Boards of Directors' Contribution to Strategy: A Literature Review and Research Agenda

15 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2009

See all articles by Amedeo Pugliese

Amedeo Pugliese

University of Padova - Department of Economics and Management; QUT Business School

Pieter-Jan Bezemer

Queensland University of Technology - School of Management

Alessandro Zattoni

University of Bocconi - Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management

Morten Huse

Norwegian School of Management (BI) - Department of Innovation and Economics; MH Management Consultants; University of Witten/Herdecke; BI Norwegian Business School

Frans A. J. Van Den Bosch

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship; Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

H. W. Volberda

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM); Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Abstract

The increasing interest in boards of directors' contribution to strategy echoes a movement towards more strategic involvement of boards of directors. However, best governance practices and the emphasis on board independence and control may hinder the board contribution to the strategic decision making. Our study invites investors and policy-makers to consider the requirements for an effective strategic task when they nominate board members and develop new regulations. Our study illustrates that research on boards of directors and strategy evolved from normative and structural approaches to behavioral and cognitive approaches. Our results encourage future studies to examine the impact of institutional and context-specific factors on the (expected) contribution of boards to strategy, and to apply alternative methods to fully capture the impact of board processes and dynamics on strategy making.Using a content-analysis of 150 articles published in 23 management journals up to 2007, we describe and analyze how research on boards of directors and strategy has evolved over time. We illustrate how topics, theories, settings, and sources of data interact and influence insights about board-strategy relationships during three specific periods. Over the last four decades, research on the relationship between boards of directors and strategy has proliferated. Yet to date there is little theoretical and empirical agreement regarding the question of how boards of directors contribute to strategy. This review assesses the extant literature by highlighting emerging trends and identifying several avenues for future research.

Over the last four decades, research on the relationship between boards of directors and strategy has proliferated. Yet to date there is little theoretical and empirical agreement regarding the question of how boards of directors contribute to strategy. This review assesses the extant literature by highlighting emerging trends and identifying several avenues for future research.

Using a content-analysis of 150 articles published in 23 management journals up to 2007, we describe and analyze how research on boards of directors and strategy has evolved over time. We illustrate how topics, theories, settings, and sources of data interact and influence insights about board-strategy relationships during three specific periods.

Our study illustrates that research on boards of directors and strategy evolved from normative and structural approaches to behavioral and cognitive approaches. Our results encourage future studies to examine the impact of institutional and context-specific factors on the (expected) contribution of boards to strategy, and to apply alternative methods to fully capture the impact of board processes and dynamics on strategy making.

The increasing interest in boards of directors' contribution to strategy echoes a movement towards more strategic involvement of boards of directors. However, best governance practices and the emphasis on board independence and control may hinder the board contribution to the strategic decision making. Our study invites investors and policy-makers to consider the requirements for an effective strategic task when they nominate board members and develop new regulations.

Suggested Citation

Pugliese, Amedeo and Bezemer, Pieter-Jan and Zattoni, Alessandro and Huse, Morten and Van Den Bosch, Frans A. J. and Volberda, Henk W., Boards of Directors' Contribution to Strategy: A Literature Review and Research Agenda. Corporate Governance: An International Review, Vol. 17, Issue 3, pp. 292-306, May 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1416358 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8683.2009.00740.x

Amedeo Pugliese (Contact Author)

University of Padova - Department of Economics and Management ( email )

Via del Santo, 33
Padova, 35123
Italy

QUT Business School ( email )

2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Australia

Pieter-Jan Bezemer

Queensland University of Technology - School of Management ( email )

Brisbane, Queensland 4001
Australia

Alessandro Zattoni

University of Bocconi - Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management ( email )

Via Bocconi 8
Milan, Milan 20136
Italy

Morten Huse

Norwegian School of Management (BI) - Department of Innovation and Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 580
N-1302 Sandvika
Norway

MH Management Consultants ( email )

Butterudveien 32
N 1339 Vøyenenga
Vøyenenga
Norway

HOME PAGE: http://www.boardsandwine.net

University of Witten/Herdecke ( email )

Alfred-Herrhausen-Straße 50
Witten, 58448
Germany

BI Norwegian Business School ( email )

Nydalsveien 37
Oslo, 0442
Norway

Frans A. J. Van Den Bosch

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship ( email )

RSM Erasmus University
Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands
+31 10 408 1955/2005 (Phone)
+31 10 453 0137 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rsm.nl/fvandenbosch

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Henk W. Volberda

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands
+31 10 408 2761 (Phone)
+31 10 408 9013 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.eur.nl/fbk/dep/dep4/faculty_members/Henk_Volberda

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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