Driving Strategy or Just Going through the Motions: An Empirical Study of Boardrooms in the UK

Sharon Kemp


The level of interest regarding corporate board, their role and the contribution they make to organisation’s performance and success has increased in the many global settings. There is however, a gap in our knowledge about what board members do. In order to have a better understanding of boards, we need to know more about the behaviour of those who sit on boards. Many chairmen and all non-executive directors serve on corporate boards in a part-time capacity; however, such part-time service does not negate a role in strategy. The purpose of this paper is to ask how, if at all, do part-time board members influence strategy in UK companies?
Data from interviews with 30 board members are interpreted using the 1999 framework of McNulty and Pettigrew which conceptualises part-time board members’ involvement in strategy as “taking strategic decisions”, “shaping strategic decisions” and shaping the content, context and conduct of strategy”.
Part-time board members are able to shape both the ideas that form the content of corporation’s strategies and the methodologies and processes by which those ideas evolve. In so doing, part-time board members are capable of exerting control over management and influencing processes of strategic choice and change. Boards of directors have a role in strategy formulation, strategic decision-making and strategic control.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijba.v1n1p2

International Journal of Business Administration
ISSN 1923-4007(Print) ISSN 1923-4015(Online)


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