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 17: Board of directors within African contexts: current perspectives and key directions for future research

Konan Anderson Seny Kan

Abstract

What aspects of African boards of directors are being studied and what lessons can be learned from those studies? This might be seen as a generic, yet critical question that the chapter attempts to answer. Findings indicate that boards research in African organizations is overwhelmingly dominated by the board demography-output approach while the general literature has experienced a shift from the board demography-output approach towards both the board dynamics-output approach and the multi-level governance perspective. Also, African boards studies confirm the inconclusiveness of board–firm performance relationships already highlighted in the general literature. Board composition is the most commonly used attribute in African boards research within the board demography-output approach, while board structure and process are studied in a piecemeal way, and board characteristics are still unexplored. Finally, results indicate that governance bundles, which are key to the multi-level governance perspective, are less investigated. This chapter suggests five important research avenues that should advance the African boards of directors literature.

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