Boards Strategizing in Liminal Spaces: Process and Practice, Formal and Informal

European Management Journal (doi: 10.1016/j.emj.2017.03.008; available Open Access)

41 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2017

See all articles by Marg Concannon

Marg Concannon

Royal Bank of Canada

Donald Nordberg

Bournemouth University

Date Written: March 27, 2017

Abstract

Boards operate notionally in a liminal, non-hierarchical space, neither inside the company nor outside, creating ambiguity between service and control functions and fostering tolerance of it. With repeated corporate governance crises, however, new prescriptions institutionalized in law, regulation and codes of conduct have added weight to the control side, marked by monitoring and compliance tasks. Taking a cue from the strategy process and strategy-as-practice literatures, this study revisits the work of directors on the service side: their engagement in strategizing. Formalization of board processes has led to greater structure and reduced the liminality of the board. Using interviews with 20 directors from a range of organization types, this study finds that directors experiment respond to increased institutionalization of board practice by seeking out new liminal spaces and informal practices, with implications for theory of boards, board activities, and public policy.

Keywords: Boards of directors, liminality, corporate governance, institutionalization, strategizing

JEL Classification: L21, L22, M1, M14

Suggested Citation

Concannon, Marg and Nordberg, Donald, Boards Strategizing in Liminal Spaces: Process and Practice, Formal and Informal (March 27, 2017). European Management Journal (doi: 10.1016/j.emj.2017.03.008; available Open Access), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2959476

Marg Concannon

Royal Bank of Canada ( email )

Canada

Donald Nordberg (Contact Author)

Bournemouth University ( email )

Executive Business Centre, 89 Holdenhurst Road,
Bournemouth, BH8 8EB
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://staffprofiles.bournemouth.ac.uk/display/dnordberg

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