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Board composition and CVB effectiveness: engaging stakeholders that can matter

Robert C. Ford (Based in the Department of Management, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA)
Amy R. Gresock (Based in the School of Management, The University of Michigan – Flint, Flint, Michigan, USA)
William C. Peeper (Retired, from the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Belle Isle, Florida, USA)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 22 November 2011




Identifying, attracting, and maintaining the engagement of the right composition of people for a non‐profit Board is a major challenge. Executives should ensure that their Boards accurately represent the stakeholders that matter, both from industry and the community. The purpose of this paper is to describe ways and offer propositions for effective non‐profit executives to identify, recruit, and motivate the continuing engagement of the members needed on their Boards in order to acquire resources critical to their sustained success.


The Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) are used as an example, since at least 93 percent of CVBs have a governance structure that includes a Board of Directors. Successfully attracting the right mix of stakeholders is a result of an extensive recruitment effort by the CVB executive. Prior research reports that successful executives take great care in making selection decisions that reflect the interests of the community in the Board's composition. Based on the literature on Boards and governance, the authors develop propositions regarding the composition of CVB Boards.


While the research is exploratory, it is found that CVBs with more diverse Boards are more successful than those with less diverse Boards. It is argued that effective CVBs use a thoughtful process for heterogeneous Board selection. It is also suggested that Board performance should be evaluated on an annual basis to recognize the need for active involvement in the Board selection process.


The successful selection of Board members is important because of the implications for Board effectiveness. While there is a large body of literature offering advice on Board selection, there is little on recruitment. Moreover, there is little discussion of Board composition strategy based on balancing access to critical resources of stakeholders.



Ford, R.C., Gresock, A.R. and Peeper, W.C. (2011), "Board composition and CVB effectiveness: engaging stakeholders that can matter", Tourism Review, Vol. 66 No. 4, pp. 4-17.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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