Evaluating Boards: A Policy Agenda in Need of Perspective

The Conference Board Inc., Director Notes, July 2019

20 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2019

See all articles by Donald Nordberg

Donald Nordberg

Milestones Trust; Bournemouth University - Business School

Rebecca Booth


Date Written: July 19, 2019


For at least 30 years, and with growing intensity through recurring corporate governance crises, public policy in many countries has been striving to encourage boards of directors to undertake regular evaluations. The policy push has stimulated much practical advice, many tools for evaluation, strong encouragement from professional bodies, and considerable skepticism from those being evaluated. While some scholars have sought to conceptualize the practice, we lack a fuller understanding that can help us see how the promised benefits and feared drawbacks arise. This Director Notes report reviews the policy context and practitioner accounts and builds frameworks for practice and policy analysis. The authors find that board evaluation is a multidimensional concept in which the interactions across the dimensions open paths to improvement of boards processes while also to unintended consequences. The authors then suggest avenues for future research and a shift in policy and practice toward greater experimentation.

Keywords: corporate governance, board evaluation

JEL Classification: M1, M48, G30, G34

Suggested Citation

Nordberg, Donald and Booth, Rebecca, Evaluating Boards: A Policy Agenda in Need of Perspective (July 19, 2019). The Conference Board Inc., Director Notes, July 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3422733 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3422733

Donald Nordberg (Contact Author)

Milestones Trust ( email )

Eclipse Office Park
High Street, Staple Hill
Bristol, BH16 5EL
United Kingdom

Bournemouth University - Business School ( email )

Talbot Campus
Poole, BH12 5BB
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.nordberg.org.uk

Rebecca Booth

Independent ( email )

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