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Summer School Corporate Governance and the Effectiveness of Boards

From:Mo 10-07-2023
Until:Fr 14-07-2023
Where:Groningen, the Netherlands

What do boards do? What factors influence what they do and how they do it? How do they perform and contribute to the overall performance of the company they represent? In this summer school we answer these questions taking a multi-disciplinary approach using insights from economics, finance, management and sociology and psychology.

We are currently updating our course overview for 2022-2023. The information below might be updated.

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

Dates & location

10-14 July 2023 (TBC), Groningen, the Netherlands


ReMa, PhDs, Postdocs, academic staff members and practitioners with relevant academic background

Fee (tbc)

Early bird discount

€ 650

Limited number of financial support available

€ 625 for applications before 1 April


Financial support (by waiving the participation fee) is available for a limited number of participants and is subsidized by the Institute for Governance and Organizational Responsibility at the University of Groningen. In case you want to be eligible for this financial support, please send an email to in order to receive more information on this issue. Please be aware, submission of a research proposal and/or a research paper is mandatory to qualify for financial support. We select students for financial support based on the quality of their research proposal and/or research paper.

Academic coordinators
  • Niels Hermes, Faculty of Economics and Business
  • Reggy Hooghiemstra
  • Kees van Veen



More information on our Summer School website

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