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 18: Roles and tasks of German supervisory boards: an exploratory view

Thomas Steger and Steffen Jahn


This chapter aims to explore German supervisory board tasks and roles. The findings help to better understand supervisory board members’ behaviour and the factors that may influence board task performance. A survey among 116 German joint-stock companies reveals that the control role is rated as more important than the service and strategy roles and respondents are more satisfied with their board’s control role performance (compared to service and strategy role performance). Yet, it is satisfaction with the strategy role that is most strongly associated with perceived overall board task performance. Further analyses reveal differences between small and large boards as well as those with and without parity-based co-determination.

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