This chapter describes the public discourse on the role of the chairperson of the board as depicted in newspaper articles from the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. The study shows that the role of the chairperson of the board is presented in the discourse as undergoing change in recent years. We identify several focus areas of public discourse: the role of the chairperson, the separation of the roles of chairperson and CEO, the progression from CEO to chairperson position, and the German supervisory chairperson. Despite the uniqueness of some of the issues to the national governance contexts, there is a shift in the understanding of the role of the chairperson. Notably, the demands from both within and outside the organizational boundaries are said to be increasing. Shareholders and other stakeholders have heightened expectations towards the chairperson and his/her board of directors. The responsibilities have increased, and so has the accountability and exposure of chairpersons. The study identifies how the newspaper articles describe the way in which the chairpersons have risen to a more powerful position, which in turn has elevated the understanding of leadership within organizations and beyond the CEO. From the public discourses identified in the newspaper articles, we conclude that the corporate governance system today and in the future will require exceptional individuals that are willing and able to fulfill the demands that come with the job and assume personal accountability for an entire organization. Our study also discusses opportunities for future research on the chairperson of the board.
Alexander Meineke, Karin Hellerstedt and Mattias Nordqvist
Karin Hellerstedt, Caroline Wigren-Kristoferson, Maria Aggestam, Anna Stevenson and Ethel Brundin
There is increasing recognition of the importance of prior industry experience in the process of opportunity recognition and venture creation. Prior industry experiences may also represent limitations and cause lock-in effects that impose limits on the innovative height of new products and services. Questions arise about how the entrepreneur’s disembeddedness in the industry may contribute to radical innovations in a specific new industry. Using three cases as illustrative examples, the authors aim to enhance understanding of the impact of industry disembeddedness on the opportunity creation process. The findings demonstrate that being disembedded from the new industry creates an opportunity to activate past connections and transfer specific resources across spheres. They also show how building embeddedness from a disembedded position becomes instrumental for business activity that provides resources and contributes to radical innovation within a specific industry.