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date: 28 February 2024

Board Processes and Performance: The Impact of Directors’ Social and Human Capitallocked

Board Processes and Performance: The Impact of Directors’ Social and Human Capitallocked

  • Morten HuseMorten HuseCommunication and Culture, BI Norwegian Business School

Summary

What do we know about actual board behavior and board performance? How can we develop our knowledge about board processes and board members’ capabilities? As a research field grows into maturity, we learn to see nuances, and the vocabulary used becomes richer and more detailed. However, the development of a consistent and nuanced language in research about board processes and performance is lagging behind.

How have research streams and individual scholars influenced how we do research today, and why are these stories not included in most of the published literature reviews on this topic? What distinguishes research about boards and governance from various disciplines? How do we find research about board processes and board capital, and how has groundbreaking research on the human side of corporate governance developed? Groundbreaking research of Myles Mace was conducted more than half a decade ago, and we need to understand what has taken place after the seminal 1989 contribution of Zahra and Pearce. Research about actual board behavior and processes were not for decades published in leading management and strategy journals.

Most published research about board processes and board capital is formulaic, leans on proxies rather than direct observation, and has only incremental if any practical contributions. A message is thus that we should strive for more groundbreaking studies that challenge existing knowledge and practice, including our research practice. A research agenda about board processes and board capital should be influenced by some of the following suggestions:

• It should go beyond formulaic and incremental studies. We should challenge existing wisdom and practice and search for alternative ways of doing research.

• It should include more processual studies rather than archival data studies using proxies.

• We should learn from the scholars doing groundbreaking research before us.

• We should learn by comparing experiences from various types of organizations.

• We must include lessons and publications not found in leading English-language journals.

• We should apply a sharing philosophy and a programmatic approach in which we as researchers contribute to developing future generations of scholars.

Subjects

  • Business Policy and Strategy
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Research Methods

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