Executive Learning in Entrepreneurial Firms and the Role of External Directors

Posted: 24 Nov 2009

See all articles by Eileen O'Neill

Eileen O'Neill

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Patrick Mileham

affiliation not provided to SSRN

David Deakins

Massey University - NZ Centre for SME Research

Date Written: 2000

Abstract

The role of external or non-executive directors intheir relationship with executive entrepreneurs in small, but growing companiesin Scotland is investigated. The focus is on their influence on executivelearning. Interviews were conducted in 1997-1998 with 50 key and foundingentrepreneurs in small growth companies who talked about their relationship totheir external directors. Forty-five interviews were analyzed. The three main factors where external directors may be expected to have animpact on entrepreneurial learning are: (1) the ability to impart knowledge,(2) the ability to set challenges and influence strategic decision making, and(3) the ability to compare impacts with critical events. External directors do bring value-added benefits to a growing small companyand perform more than a monitoring function.The most important roles theyfill are guiding and advising the entrepreneur, providing advice on importantstrategic decisions, and taking an important role in the strategic planningprocesses of the firm. (TNM)

Keywords: Learning, Leadership, Managers, Growth firms, Executives, External directors, Organizational learning

Suggested Citation

O'Neill, Eileen and Mileham, Patrick and Deakins, David, Executive Learning in Entrepreneurial Firms and the Role of External Directors (2000). Education + Training, Vol. 42, Issue 4/5, p. 317-325 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1512327

Eileen O'Neill (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Patrick Mileham

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

David Deakins

Massey University - NZ Centre for SME Research ( email )

60-62 Wallace St.
Private Box 756
Wellington
New Zealand

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