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Studying boards of directors as human decision making groups

07 June 2012

Date: June 14, 2012
PhD ceremony: Mr. D.B. Veltrop, 2.30pm, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Dissertation: On Board(s): studying boards of directors as human decision making groups
Promotor(s): prof. H.B.M. Molleman, prof. H. van Ees

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Boards of directors play a crucial role for the way organizations are governed. Accordingly, a great deal of governance research has studied the determinants of board governance effectiveness. An understudied fact in the field of governance, however, is that boards are first and foremost workgroups of individual directors.

In his dissertation Dennis Veltrop provides a rich and in-depth examination of board functioning. He employs theoretical and methodological insights from the field of organizational behavior and social psychology. Rather than interpreting boards of directors as monolithic entities.

Boards are studied as human decision making groups at different levels of analysis: the board level of analysis, the director level of analysis, and the dyadic level of analysis. Faultline theory and social categorization theory are employed to study subgroup formation and conflict management at the board level of analysis.

At the individual level of analysis, the author draws from social identity theory to study determinants of director task performance. At the dyadic and individual level of analysis I incorporate insights from status characteristics theory to gauge the determinants and consequences of status differences among directors. There is evidence for several anticipated and unanticipated relationships.

A significant contribution of this dissertation in this respect is that it underscores the relevance of in-depth behavioral research into boards of directors and illustrates the complexity of behavioral antecedents.

Last modified:12 February 2018 1.36 p.m.

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