Board configuration is discussed in the context of the perceived needs of the board as a strategic resource of the organization. This is highlighted in the context of the differing governance, performance and social requirements of organizations pertaining to private sector, state and local government ownership structures. Examined is the view that in bringing particular perspectives resulting from their professional, ethnic or gender backgrounds, directors contribute to board effectiveness. This notion is evaluated in terms of directors’ coping devices and their perceptions of their ability to be heard on the board. Initiatives that boards may use to ensure the success of such appointments are highlighted. Consideration is also given to enhancing the dynamics of established but dysfunctional appointments. In concluding, the paper develops criteria for success in making board appointments where the prospective appointee is a minority in terms of professional discipline or other forms of diversity.
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