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Education University of Groningen Summer Schools

Corporate Governance and the Effectiveness of Boards

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Unfortunately, as we currently do not know how the coronavirus will progress globally in the coming months, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the University of Groningen Summer Schools 2020. We apologize for any inconvenience this exceptional situation may cause. Hopefully we will see you next year instead. Stay safe and healthy!


Understanding how corporate boards are formed and how they act has become an important topic. Corporate failures and scandals such as Enron and Parmalat in the early 2000s and, more recently Volkswagen and Toshiba, have heated up debates among investors, policy makers, media, academics and the wider public, with respect to the role of boards in these scandals. Simultaneously, boards have to deal with newer questions and norms, which wider emerging environmental, social and governance concerns. In general, boards play a key role within organizations and the economic system in general.

Research on boards focuses on examining how boards themselves influence firm strategic decisions and outcomes. Traditionally, this research focuses on linking board and/or individual characteristics to measures of firm decision-making and performance. More recently, researchers have begun to focus on contextualizing the role of boards in determining firm decisions and outcomes. Various contextual variables such as formal (laws, regulations, quality of government) and informal institutions (culture, values, trust) have been considered as determinants of the way boards are characterized and formed, what their roles are, how their members act and decide and what the consequences are.

At the same time, part of the research on boards has been directed toward researching cognitive and behavioral aspects of teams’ and boards’ decision-making processes. Studies in this field aim at opening the so-called “black box” to find out how interactions between individual team and board members affect decision making, team and board effectiveness and, ultimately, also organizational performance. Among other things, this research focuses on analyzing the importance of behavioral and cognitive aspects such as trust, conflict and conflict management, commitment, information sharing, reflexivity, etc. on team and organizational performance.

Aim of the summer school

The aim of this summer school is to discuss the strength and weaknesses of both research pillars and their contribution to our understanding of how boards are formed and how they work in order to effectively perform their roles. We explicitly aim to determine to what extent their questions, methods, data, and outcomes are complementary or substitutes. Our approach is multi-disciplinary, meaning that we discuss research from economics, finance, management and sociology and psychology. We will also deal with measurement issues and discuss datasets and methodologies to use these datasets in research. Participants are invited to present their own research (ideas) in the field of board effectiveness.

Practical information

Unfortunately, as we currently do not know how the coronavirus will progress globally in the coming months, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the University of Groningen Summer Schools 2020. Hopefully we will see you next year instead. Stay safe and healthy!

Dates & location July 2021 (tbc), Groningen, the Netherlands
Level ReMa, PhDs, Postdocs, academic staff members
and practitioners with relevant academic background
Fee 2020 (incl. lunches, coffee/tea) €650 (excluding housing)
€924 (including housing)
Limited number of financial support available
Academic coordinators Niels Hermes, Faculty of Economics and Business
Reggy Hooghiemstra
Kees van Veen
Contact cg-summerschool@rug.nl
Requirements

This course is designed for ReMa, PhDs, Postdocs, academic staff members and practitioners with relevant academic background. Participants are expected to have a solid background in business, economics or management studies (at least at the Bachelor level).

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.

group at work 2018
group at work 2018
Teaching staff

This summer school brings the participants to the frontiers of knowledge about boards, board dynamics in a variety of corporate governance contexts. Each of the teaching staff members has an impressive track record on the topics discussed. This includes high ranking international academics who specifically come to Groningen to share their latest insights with the audience (such as Prof. CraigCrossland, Notre Dame university, USA, and Prof. Alessandro Zattoni, Luis Business School, Italy), and experienced practitioners who share their latest observations. Overall, the summer school has a rather strong research orientation. However, earlier participants with other background – proxy advisors, ESG specialists, investors- found the summer school very useful as well and are welcome to apply.

Programme

Topics will include:

  • Introduction to corporate governance and agency theory
  • Executive compensation
  • Board composition and dynamics
  • Board leadership
  • Ownership structure and the role of shareholders
  • Data and methods in corporate governance research: Dealing with endogeneity
  • Comparative corporate governance
  • Business elites and top management teams
  • Corporate governance research: Using survey data
  • Recent trends in corporate governance research
  • Presentations of research proposals and papers
Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this summer school you will be able to:

  • define and describe the basic elements of a corporate governance system;
  • critically assess theories applied in the field of corporate governance;
  • explain and discuss the major research approaches in the field of corporate governance;
  • describe recent trends and topics in research on corporate governance;
  • present, discuss and critically evaluate a paper published in a scientific journal; and
  • write and present their own research proposal and/or a research paper.

The workload is estimated at 40 hours (five days from 9-5 with lectures, workshops, assignments and (paper) presentations).
Participants who attend all sessions and who present a research proposal or paper on Friday will receive a certificate of participation signed by the coordinators of the summer school. Upon request the certificate can mention the workload of 40 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.


Housing
housing_kitchen

You will stay at Upsilon International Students House. This newly built residence is beautifully located between the city centre of Groningen and the University campus. There is a coffee corner at the main entrance and a rooftop where you can enjoy the sunset. You will have a fully furnished private room, with its own bathroom and toilet. The kitchen/living room is shared with approx. 8 other students, and offers you a place to have dinner or to play a (board) game with your fellow summer school students.

Meals

The kitchens are fully equipped with electric stoves, ovens, fridges, freezers, etc. and of course pots and pans. Please note that food (breakfast, lunch, dinner) is not included unless otherwise specified by your summer school. You should count on spending approximately €15-20 per day on meals, snacks, coffee/tea and/or other refreshments.

Conditions

The housing service is optional, please indicate on your online application form if you want to have accommodation arranged for you. If you agree to have housing arranged for you, you will be offered a standard package with the following conditions:

  • Standard rental from Saturday 4 July to Saturday 11 July for € 274 (7 nights). This includes cleaning, bed package (duvet, pillow + linen) and basic kitchen utensils.
  • Check-in is on Saturdays between 2 PM and 10 PM or Sundays between 2 PM and 4 PM. The central summer school office will be there to welcome you.
  • Check-out is on Saturday before 10 AM.
  • Cancellation policy: Participants who cancel after 17 June are liable to pay the full amount for their accommodation.

Please note that the international student house is a regular home and not hotel-quality accommodation. If you prefer to stay in other accommodation, please make use of one of the many hotels in Groningen.

Globe with rating 2019: 9.4

Participant evaluations

  • ‘A wonderful experience’
  • ‘All the lectures have rich content. The …content is great and intensive’
  • ‘I really like the informal atmosphere and the inspiring talks. Connecting with the professors is a great opportunity’.
Last modified:31 March 2020 10.30 a.m.