boards of directors, contribution to strategy, literature review
Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), Erasmus University Rotterdam (ERIM is the joint researchinstitute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam)
Manuscript Type: Literature review.
Research Question/Issue: Over the last four decades, research on the relationship between boards of directors and strategy has proliferated. Yet to date there is little theoretical and empirical agreement regarding the question of how boards of directors contribute to strategy. This review assesses the extant literature by highlighting emerging trends and identifying several avenues for future research.
Research Findings/Insights: Using a content-analysis of 150 articles published in 23 manage-ment journals until 2007, we describe and analyze how research on boards of directors and strategy has evolved over time. We illustrate how topics, theories, settings and sources of data interact and influence insights about board-strategy relationships during three specific periods.
Theoretical/Academic Implications: Our study illustrates that research on boards of directors and strategy evolved from normative and structural approaches to behavioral and cognitive approaches. Our results encourage future studies (i) to examine the impact of institutional and context-specific factors on the (expected) contribution of boards to strategy, and (ii) to apply alternative methods to fully capture the impact of board processes and dynamics on strategy-making.
Practical/Policy Implications: The increasing interest in boards of directors’ contribution to strategy echoes a movement towards more strategic involvement of boards of directors. However, best governance practices and the emphasis on board independence and control may hinder the board contribution to the strategic decision-making. Our study invites investors and policy-makers to consider the requirements for an effective strategic task when they nominee board members and develop new regulations.