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Linking the distribution of board-executive governance responsibilities to charter school performance

Michael R. Ford (Department of Public Administration, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA)
Douglas M. Ihrke (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Article publication date: 12 March 2018




This study aims to use the original data collected from school board members representing nonprofit charter schools in the state of Minnesota to examine the relationship between the distribution of board-executive governance responsibilities and the performance of organizations operating as part of a New Public Management style macro-governance reform.


A combination of survey data collected from Minnesota charter school board members and hard performance data were utilized in two OLS regression models to predict the link between organizational governance and school performance.


The authors find that boards can improve hard measures of organizational performance by shifting responsibility of day-to-day operations closer to the executive, and public advocacy duties closer to the board. The results build on the existing literatures on school board governance and board-executive relations. Overall, the findings suggest the existence of an ideal balance between board-executive governance responsibilities in key functional areas on charter school boards.


Though a healthy literature exists regarding the value of charter schools, very few studies have actually explored the way in which these organizations are governed. This study is the first to link charter board governance responsibilities to performance.



Ford, M.R. and Ihrke, D.M. (2018), "Linking the distribution of board-executive governance responsibilities to charter school performance", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 2-18.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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