The board: a change agent?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Scientific articles 
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into why shareholders often claim dissatisfaction with the results delivered by their boards. A central reason is that boards fail to get their critical decisions effectively implemented. The paper also focuses on whether boards apply essentials developed in the change management discipline. Design/methodology/approach – The research is based on a study of board documents to capture what boards actually do. The documents were compiled from two Norwegian companies during the 1993-2005 period. A content analysis was the analytic tool. Findings – The research indicates that boards apply rational and deterministic approaches to implement critical decisions. It also reveals that boards tend to overlook essentials from the change management discipline. The paper identifies the potential for improved board effectiveness in implementing critical decisions. Research limitations/implications – The main limitation of this research is that several observations may threaten the generalizability of the findings. However, the limitations may provide opportunities for further research. Practical implications – Boards should motivate the chief executive officer and top management to apply a change management perspective in implementing critical decisions. To do so, board members must understand the critical decisions and ask appropriate questions. Originality/value – The main value of this paper pertains to the contribution regarding why shareholders claim dissatisfaction with board-delivered results.
This is the authors’ final, accepted and refereed manuscript to the article published in Baltic Journal of Management