The purpose of this paper is to better understand dependency issues between the CEO and the board as well as the between the board and CEO through Emerson’s power dependency framework.
A symbolic management approach is integrated with a board-CEO power dependency model to study the dependency issues.
According to the symbolic management perspective, uncertainty increases the likelihood of symbolic actions. A high level of uncertainty in CEO dependency issues suggests a high likelihood that board power over the CEO is manifested on a symbolic level, whereas a low level of uncertainty in board dependency issues suggests otherwise for CEO power over the board. The core of board-dependency issues is information provision.
A focus on improving board control over CEO performance, compensation and strategic proposals is likely to generate symbolic actions without an effective result.
The paper advocates that an effective approach to enhance board power is through reducing board information dependency on the CEO.
We are thankful for valuable comments from Morten Huse, Fred Wenstøp, Henrich Greve from Norwegian School of Management, Norway, Shaker Zahra and Harry Sapienza from University of Minnesota, the USA, and Gerwin Van der Laan from University of Groningen, the Netherlands.
Zhang, P., Fadil, P. and Baynard, C. (2015), "Understanding board-CEO power dependency perspective under symbolic management", Competitiveness Review, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 50-73. https://doi.org/10.1108/CR-05-2013-0051
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