Research Handbook on Boards of Directors
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Research Handbook on Boards of Directors

Edited by Jonas Gabrielsson, Wafa Khlif and Sibel Yamak

Boards of directors are complex systems, and it is imperative to understand what the contextual forces are that shape the direction and make-up of boards. This Research Handbook provides inspiration for researchers and practitioners interested in the manifold dimensions and facets of context surrounding boards of directors.
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Chapter 2: Board informal hierarchy and board performance

Dennis B. Veltrop and Eric Molleman

Abstract

In this chapter we bring to the fore that boards of directors are first and foremost social groups and like any other social entity intra-group informal differences shape patterns of intra-group participation and influence among directors. While board performance is an important topic in governance research, as well as in corporate practice, to date, not much is known about who has the most and who has the least say within the confines of the boardroom. In our work we not only maintain that the board informal hierarchy differently shapes how boards monitor and advise top management, but also that the basis of the informal board hierarchy may very well differ between boards. This is an important issue, because it highlights that the most knowledgeable directors may not necessarily reside at the top of the board informal hierarchy depending on the basis of the board informal hierarchy.

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