Board Effectiveness in Small Firms

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Title: Board Effectiveness in Small Firms
Author: Söderqvist, Anette; Wägar, Karolina
Contributor: Hanken School of Economics, Department of Management and Organisation, Management and Organisation
Belongs to series: Working Papers - 549
ISSN: 0357-4598
ISBN: 978-952-232-075-9
Abstract: Purpose: This study investigates boards of directors in small firms and explores the
link between board effectiveness and the composition, roles and working styles of
the boards.
Design/methodology/approach: The study analyses data from a telephone survey
of boards in 45 small firms. The survey included both the CEO and the chairperson
of the board.
Findings: The study identifies three groups of small firms: ‘paperboards’,
‘professional boards’, and ‘management lead’ boards. Results show that board
composition, board roles and board working style influence board effectiveness in
small firms.
Research limitations/implications: Although the present study has found a link
between board effectiveness and the role, composition and working style of boards
of small firms, other potentially influential factors are also worthy of investigation;
for example, the personal characteristics of the individuals involved, generational
factors in family firms, and the situational circumstances of various firms.
Practical implications: The study reveals that, in practice, the management team
and the board are substantially intertwined in small firms.
Originality/value: The main contributions are that the study explores how boards
in small firms actually function and gives a detailed account of their composition
and roles.More insight into this issue is important given the overemphasis within
the governance literature on input-output studies using samples of large publiclylisted
Date: 2010-03-02
Rights: This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for Your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.

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