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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

Pieter-Jan Bezemer, Stefan Peij, Laura de Kruijs and Gregory Maassen

This study seeks to explore how non-executive directors address governance problems on Dutch two-tier boards. Within this board model, challenges might be particularly

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to explore how non-executive directors address governance problems on Dutch two-tier boards. Within this board model, challenges might be particularly difficult to address due to the formal separation of management boards' decision-management from supervisory boards' decision-control roles.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews and a questionnaire among non-executive directors provide unique insights into three major challenges in the boardrooms of two-tier boards in The Netherlands.

Findings

The study indicates that non-executive directors mainly experience challenges in three areas: the ability to ask management critical questions, information asymmetries between the management and supervisory boards and the management of the relationship between individual executive and non-executive directors. The qualitative in-depth analysis reveals the complexity of the contributing factors to problems in the boardroom and the range of process and social interventions non-executive directors use to address boardroom issues with management and the organization of the board.

Practical implications

While policy makers have been largely occupied with the “right” board composition, the results highlight the importance of adequately addressing operational challenges in the boardroom. The results emphasize the importance of a better understanding of board processes and the need of non-executive directors to carefully manage relationships in and around the boardroom.

Originality/value

Whereas most studies have focussed on regulatory initiatives to improve the functioning of boards (e.g. the independence of the board), this study explores how non-executive directors attempt to enhance the effectiveness of boards on which they serve.

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Article
Publication date: 8 November 2011

Rosanne Jane Hawarden and Stephen Marsland

Despite the extensive study of director interlocks very little is known about gendered director networks. Boards of directors are primarily male; globally, only 5‐20 per…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the extensive study of director interlocks very little is known about gendered director networks. Boards of directors are primarily male; globally, only 5‐20 per cent of directors are women and change is described as glacially slow. The extent to which women directors are central to the network, or pushed to the margins, is unknown. Using the tools of social network analysis we extract the components of three director networks, a global and two national networks and locate the women directors. The paper aims to examine the persistence of director networks over time to determine whether gender related differences – apart from size – contribute to the apparent resistance to change.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a longitudinal approach, comparing director networks on a global network scale (2004 and 2007 Fortune Global 200) and a national one (2004 and 2007 New Zealand Stock Exchange) with the iconic 1999 Fortune US 1000 dataset. After extracting the largest connected component, the female directors are separated out. From the 2004 and 2007 data director turnover is calculated to determine the stability of the networks.

Findings

Female directors are more likely to be found in the largest connected component of the mixed gender network, indicating that they are not marginalised. Despite high turnover rates, director networks are stable over time which may manifest as resistance to change.

Originality/value

The structure of gendered director networks is unknown and the location of women directors in the network components has not been considered in board diversity research. The results point to an underlying gender equity in all director networks. A new theoretical approach, glass network theory, has implications for boardroom diversity interventions.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2018

Neil J. Fletcher and Rory J. Ridley-Duff

This paper aims to investigate the intersection between corporate governance and management accounting information within the board meeting of an English further education college.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the intersection between corporate governance and management accounting information within the board meeting of an English further education college.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical fieldwork uses an interventionist approach. Board members’ mental models of a management accounting boundary object are analysed.

Findings

The paper supports Parker (2007) and Cornforth and Edward’s (1999) observation that within a board meeting, collaborative “micro-management” type talk is considered to lie outside the acceptable remit of non-executive and executive board member interaction. Such an attitude can prevent an intertwining of management accounting information and other mental models of an organisation occurring. This can preclude management accounting information from rendering an organisation visible, in an expansive manner, within a boardroom.

Research limitations/implications

Interventionist researchers working within the black box of the board are encouraged to design more radical and collaborative interventions than the interview/report format used here.

Practical implications

Non-executive directors might benefit from being offered the opportunity to interact with management accounting information outside the formal board meeting and committee structure.

Originality/value

A deeper understanding of how directors’ mental models, boardroom behaviours and attitudes influence their interaction with management accounting information is offered. Insight into the limitations of using management accounting information in the boardroom is developed.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Article
Publication date: 11 December 2019

Nick Beech, Jeff Gold, Susan Beech and Tricia Auty

This paper aims to explore the impact discourse has on decision making practices within the boardroom and considers how personal proficiency in micro-language use can…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the impact discourse has on decision making practices within the boardroom and considers how personal proficiency in micro-language use can enhance an individual’s personal efficacy in influencing boardroom decisions. The work uses Habermas’ theory of communicative action to critique board talk, highlighting the need for greater understanding of the power of everyday taken for granted talk in strategy shaping. It illuminates the contribution that human resource development (HRD) professionals can make to the management of such behaviour and minimising dysfunctional behaviour and enabling effective boardroom practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Traditional governance theory from a business and organisational perspectives are provided before considering the boardroom environment and HRD’s role. The authors undertake ethnographic research supported by conversation analysis to explore how directors use talk-based interpersonal routines to influence boardroom processes and enact collective decision making. The authors provide one extract of directors’ talk to illustrate the process and demonstrate what the data “looks like” and the insights it holds.

Findings

The analysis suggests that the established underlying assumptions and rationale ideologies of corporate governance are misplaced and to understand the workings of corporate governance HRD academics and professionals need to gain deeper insight into the employment of talk within boards. Armed with such insights HRD professionals can become more effective in developing strategies to address dysfunctional leadership and promote good governance practice throughout their organisation.

Social implications

The work raises a call for HRD to embrace a societal mediation role to help boards to become a catalyst for setting good practice which is strategically aligned throughout the organisation. Such roles require a more dialogical, strategic and critical approach to HRD, and professionals and academics take a more holistic approach to leadership development.

Originality/value

The paper considers the role of the development of HRD interventions that both help individuals to work more effectively within a boardroom environment and support development to shape a boardroom culture that promotes effective governance practice by influencing boardroom practice thereby promoting strong governance and broad social compliance throughout the organisation.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 44 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Shashi Kartikeyan and Shabnam Priyadarshini

This paper aims to highlight the under-representation of women in leadership positions across the world.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to highlight the under-representation of women in leadership positions across the world.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors add their unbiased views in presenting the most relevant information found in literature.

Findings

The paper examines the representation of women in the leadership positions such as board members and/or CEOs/top executives in the corporate world across the globe to understand the new developments that may be changing the status quo. This is a review of legislative changes on bringing parity in boardrooms and its impacts in certain countries where such changes are already implemented. The changes implemented through quotas, penalties, and incentives for including women in boardrooms in certain countries in Europe, Australia, Canada, India, and Kenya show that finally the absence of women in boardrooms has been noticed. The countries are moving towards legal compliance; however, there is still a dearth of women CEOs around the world.

Practical implications

The paper points toward the fact that the interventions that have happened are late and have failed capable women who could have reached their full professional potential in the western world. Also, taking a cue, the rest of the world can impose sufficient and timely legislative change to leapfrog to a gender equal society at every level, including at the top.

Originality/value

The paper compiles the most significant facts and figures and presents them in a very concise manner for any busy executive or researcher thus saving hours of reading time.

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2021

Stefan Peij and Pieter-Jan Bezemer

This study aims to examine the core challenges facing company secretaries in a two-tier board context. This study focuses on the key factors contributing to these…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the core challenges facing company secretaries in a two-tier board context. This study focuses on the key factors contributing to these challenges and how company secretaries can effectively address them.

Design/methodology/approach

An analysis of the narratives provided by 291 Dutch company secretaries in response to a series of open-ended questionnaire questions led to insights into the key challenges company secretaries face in their day-to-day work.

Findings

Company secretaries perceive a myriad of factors contributing to pressures on their time, the need to work for multiple organizational bodies and the processing of information. They believe process interventions and social interventions are needed to alleviate these issues.

Research limitations/implications

The research highlights the need to deeply study boards from a holistic and systems point of view that recognizes the various actors, such as the company secretary, and their relationships in a boardroom context. Furthermore, the research shows how the two-tier board model may complicate these relational dynamics owing to the formal separation of decision management from decision control.

Practical implications

This study identifies various pragmatic ways to address the core challenges facing company secretaries so as to improve their contributions to decision-making at the apex of organizations.

Originality/value

This study sheds light on an important organizational actor (i.e. the company secretary) that hitherto has received scant attention in the governance literature.

Details

Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 October 2007

D. Jamali, A. Safieddine and M. Daouk

The purpose of this paper is to look at how recent corporate scandals have translated into heightened interest in understanding various facets of corporate governance

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to look at how recent corporate scandals have translated into heightened interest in understanding various facets of corporate governance, notably the effectiveness of boards of directors and the composition of boards with particular attention to the gender dimension. In this context, the current study gauges the perceptions of Lebanese women managers regarding corporate governance issues pertaining to board effectiveness, roles and responsibilities and the benefits of female representation on boards.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach takes the form of a literature review and survey type questionnaire deriving from the literature. The questionnaire was administered to a sample of 61 top and middle level women managers, drawn from the context of 12 different banks in the Lebanese context.

Findings

The findings suggest that Lebanese women managers consider current board performance as not being satisfactory, that women are important board member candidates and that the low representation of women on boards in Lebanon is related to glass ceiling type impediments. They also believed that women board representation can reflect positively on the status of women at work and that government intervention is needed to level the playing field for women in management and at the boardroom level.

Originality/value

The value added of this research is to gauge Lebanese women's perceptions regarding corporate governance issues and the gender dimension, which is of direct relevance/interest to them. Moreover, these expressed perceptions are compared with what is reported in the literature, suggesting overall congruence between the experiences/perceptions of women in various contexts.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 7 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2011

Raymond Caldwell

A place in the boardroom is often considered a necessary if not sufficient condition for HR directors to exercise strategic influence on business decision‐making. The…

Abstract

Purpose

A place in the boardroom is often considered a necessary if not sufficient condition for HR directors to exercise strategic influence on business decision‐making. The purpose of the paper is to explore the perceived importance of HR boardroom representation, both in a formal and symbolic sense, and to what extent HR directors can exercise strategic influence without it?

Design/methodology/approach

Evidence is explored from a survey of 1,188 UK HR practitioners, including 255 board members, and a series of follow‐up interviews with 16 HR directors.

Findings

Analysis of the survey findings suggests that boardroom versus non‐boardroom representation of HR appears to matter in four key areas: board members believe they have greater involvement and influence in business planning processes; they have more positive perceptions of the overall performance of HR; they give higher ratings of CEO perceptions of the HR function; and they believe they achieve greater integration of HR strategy with business strategy.

Research limitations/implications

While there are increasingly other formal mechanisms and forums (e.g. executive committees, personal networks) outside the boardroom for HR directors to exercise their influence, it appears that the “symbolic capital” of boardroom recognition and esteem still retains enormous significance and rhetorical appeal for the HR profession.

Originality/value

The paper seeks to reframe the debates on the relative importance of HR boardroom versus executive committee representation as forums of strategic influence, by focusing on the continued symbolic significance of boardroom representation. It is concluded that a reworking of Bourdieu's concept of “symbolic capital” (i.e. professional esteem, recognition, status, or respect) as board capital may be useful in reframing future research on HR boardroom representation.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Karim S. Rebeiz

Boardroom’s effectiveness has emerged as an issue of considerable importance in the minds of academics and practitioners, particularly in the aftermath of the highly…

Abstract

Purpose

Boardroom’s effectiveness has emerged as an issue of considerable importance in the minds of academics and practitioners, particularly in the aftermath of the highly visible corporate governance scandals of the past few decades. The purpose of this paper is to shed new lights on this topic by proposing a robust design framework for boardroom’s effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

The interpretative investigation is based on semi-structured interviews administered to directors of Fortune 500 firms. The adopted thematic analysis is phenomenology, or the feelings, experiences and perceptions of events as depicted first hand by individuals with significant boardroom’s experience.

Findings

Two central findings could be construed from this investigation. First, the optimum boardroom’s configuration is not a universal proposition. In other words, there are no magic recipes, and no one-size fits all approach. Rather, the optimum boardroom’s configuration ought to be framed in light of the overarching needs of the firm in relation to the dynamic forces in the external environment. Second, the design of boardrooms ought to span beyond structural aspects (i.e. the outwardly visible aspects) to also encompass two largely unobserved boardroom’s phenomena, namely, the directorship personal trait factors and the directorship behavioral patterns.

Research limitations/implications

The findings presented herein may be contaminated with cognitive and personal biases, a common and unavoidable occurrence in qualitative research. A more integrative research approach using inductive and deductive techniques would allow for triangulation of results, thus providing an additional dose of validity and relevance to the research findings.

Practical implications

There has been a growing disenchantment about the modus operandi of the board of directors among practitioners, particularly as it pertains to large corporations with diffuse and heterogeneous shareholders and stakeholders. New design guidelines for the board of directors would directly impact on corporate practices.

Social implications

The design of high performance boardrooms is instrumental to shareholders, policymakers, directors, executives, rank and file employees, suppliers, customers and other direct and indirect stakeholders, as it may help avert future corporate governance mishaps.

Originality/value

As of today, the academic and popular literature has yet to provide unequivocal guidance for the development of high performance boardrooms. This study fills an important gap in the prevailing corporate governance literature by integrating both structural and socio-cognitive factors into the design framework of the board of directors.

Details

Corporate Governance, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 April 2019

Muhammad Usman, Muhammad Umar Farooq, Junrui Zhang, Muhammad Abdul Majid Makki and Muhammad Kaleem Khan

This paper aims to investigate the question concerning whether gender diversity in the boardroom matters to lenders or not?

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the question concerning whether gender diversity in the boardroom matters to lenders or not?

Design/methodology/approach

To answer this question, the authors use the data from 2009 to 2015 of all A-share listed companies on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges. The authors use ordinary least squares regression and firm fixed effect regression to draw our inferences. To check and control the issue of endogeneity the authors use one-year lagged gender diversity regression, two-stage least squares regression, propensity score matching method and Heckman two-stage regression.

Findings

The results suggest that the presence of female directors on the board reduces managerial opportunistic behavior and information asymmetry and, consequently, creditors’ perceptions about the probability of loan default and the cost of debt. The authors find that lenders charge 4 per cent less from borrowers that have at least one female board member than they do from borrowers with no female board members. The authors also find that the board structure (i.e. gender diversity) of government-owned firms also matters to lenders, as government-owned firms that have gender-diverse boards have a lower cost of debt (i.e. 5 per cent lower interest rate).

Practical Implications

The findings have implications for individual borrowers and for regulators. For example, borrowers can get debt financing at lower rates by altering their boards’ composition (i.e. through gender diversity). From the regulatory perspective, the results support recent legislative initiatives around the world regarding female directors’ representation on boards.

Originality Value

This paper makes several contributions. First, beyond the recent studies on boardroom gender, the authors investigate the relationship between gender diversity in the boardroom and the cost of debt. Second, the authors extend the literature on the association between government ownership and cost of debt by first time providing evidence that the board composition (e.g. gender diversity) of government-owned firms also matters to the lenders. The other contributions are discussed in the introduction section.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

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