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Boards and governance in SMEs: An inquiry into boards’ contribution to firm performance

Gabrielsson, Jonas LU (2003)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Styrelsen har under de senaste åren lyfts fram som en potentiell resurs som kan bidra till utvecklingskraft och förbättrad lönsamhet i små- och medelstora företag (SMF). Litteratur och forskning kring styrelsearbete behandlar dock främst stora publika företag där behovet av att begränsa företagsledningens handlingsutrymme lyfts fram. Den teoretiska kunskapen kring hur styrelser kan bidra till företagets strategi- och affärsutveckling i SMF är således relativt outvecklad. Det övergripande syftet med denna sammanläggningsavhandling är att utveckla och testa ett integrativt teoretiskt ramverk för att förklara hur styrelsen i SMF kan bidra till företagets resultat och prestationer. Det teoretiska... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Styrelsen har under de senaste åren lyfts fram som en potentiell resurs som kan bidra till utvecklingskraft och förbättrad lönsamhet i små- och medelstora företag (SMF). Litteratur och forskning kring styrelsearbete behandlar dock främst stora publika företag där behovet av att begränsa företagsledningens handlingsutrymme lyfts fram. Den teoretiska kunskapen kring hur styrelser kan bidra till företagets strategi- och affärsutveckling i SMF är således relativt outvecklad. Det övergripande syftet med denna sammanläggningsavhandling är att utveckla och testa ett integrativt teoretiskt ramverk för att förklara hur styrelsen i SMF kan bidra till företagets resultat och prestationer. Det teoretiska ramverket tas fram genom en genomgång av relevant forskning och litteratur inom området. Den empiriska delen av avhandlingen består av fyra separata studier som var och en behandlar en distinkt forskningsfråga för att möta det teoretiska problemet och uppfylla det övergripande syftet med avhandlingen. Avhandlingens huvudsakliga bidrag är att den identifierar, behandlar, och empiriskt testar begrepp för att utveckla förståelsen kring vad som kan möjliggöra (eller hindra) att en styrelse kan utföra sina uppgifter och bidra till företagets resultat och prestationer i privata SMF. Avhandlingens resultat visar på vikten av att gå bortom föreställningen kring enkla samband mellan styrelsens sammansättning och företagets resultat för att bättre förstå hur styrelsen i SMF kan bidra till företagets utveckling. Istället finns det behov av att ta hänsyn till hur företagets interna och externa situation, påtryckningar från intressenter, samt arbetsformerna i styrelsen kan påverka en styrelses potentiella värdeskapande effekt. (Less)
Abstract
The board of directors is often described as a valuable resource for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that can contribute to the direction and performance of the firm. Mainstream research and literature on boards and governance has however mainly been concerned with how the board of directors best can monitor and restrain managerial action in large widely held corporations, and there is not much guidance for individuals interested in how boards can be effective instruments of governance in privately held SMEs. The main focus in research on boards and governance has moreover been on the direct relationship between observable board characteristics and the financial performance of the firm. How contingencies and stakeholder... (More)
The board of directors is often described as a valuable resource for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that can contribute to the direction and performance of the firm. Mainstream research and literature on boards and governance has however mainly been concerned with how the board of directors best can monitor and restrain managerial action in large widely held corporations, and there is not much guidance for individuals interested in how boards can be effective instruments of governance in privately held SMEs. The main focus in research on boards and governance has moreover been on the direct relationship between observable board characteristics and the financial performance of the firm. How contingencies and stakeholder influences, and how the working style in the boardroom influence a board’s ability to contribute to firm performance in SMEs are hence largely unexplored issues, and few attempts have been made to integrate various streams of research in empirical research on boards and governance in SMEs. Based on this background is the overall purpose of this composite dissertation to apply and empirically test an integrated theoretical framework that explains boards’ contribution to firm performance in SMEs. The theoretical framework is developed by a review and analysis of relevant research and literature on boards and governance. The empirical part of the dissertation consists of four individual papers, and each empirical paper addresses a distinct research objective in order to deal with the theoretical problem and meet the overall purpose of the dissertation. The main contribution of the dissertation is that it identifies, develops and empirically tests concepts related to contingencies, stakeholder influences and the working style in the boardroom to better understand what might enable (or hinder) boards to perform their tasks and contribute to firm performance in SMEs. The overall findings in the four empirical studies suggest that the extent to which the board of directors in SMEs provide the firm with differential benefits and contribute to firm performance is not as simple and direct as many past studies assume. There consequently seem to be a need to go beyond the assumptions of simple and direct relationships between observable board characteristics and firm performance to better understand how boards contribute to the direction and performance of an enterprise, and future research should continue to develop theory of how contingencies, stakeholder influences and the working style in the boardroom can moderate the potential value-adding effect of a board of directors in SMEs. (Less)
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author
opponent
  • Professor Zahra, Shaker
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Företagsledning, management, Management of enterprises, stakeholders, SMEs, firm performance, governance, contingencies, Boards of directors, board working style
pages
250 pages
publisher
SIRE, Halmstad University
defense location
EC3:207.
defense date
2003-09-22 13:00
ISBN
91-628-5760-6
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
787bbfc6-ba77-4cbb-a1c8-45eb633bf346 (old id 466072)
date added to LUP
2007-09-27 11:20:41
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:03
@misc{787bbfc6-ba77-4cbb-a1c8-45eb633bf346,
  abstract     = {The board of directors is often described as a valuable resource for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that can contribute to the direction and performance of the firm. Mainstream research and literature on boards and governance has however mainly been concerned with how the board of directors best can monitor and restrain managerial action in large widely held corporations, and there is not much guidance for individuals interested in how boards can be effective instruments of governance in privately held SMEs. The main focus in research on boards and governance has moreover been on the direct relationship between observable board characteristics and the financial performance of the firm. How contingencies and stakeholder influences, and how the working style in the boardroom influence a board’s ability to contribute to firm performance in SMEs are hence largely unexplored issues, and few attempts have been made to integrate various streams of research in empirical research on boards and governance in SMEs. Based on this background is the overall purpose of this composite dissertation to apply and empirically test an integrated theoretical framework that explains boards’ contribution to firm performance in SMEs. The theoretical framework is developed by a review and analysis of relevant research and literature on boards and governance. The empirical part of the dissertation consists of four individual papers, and each empirical paper addresses a distinct research objective in order to deal with the theoretical problem and meet the overall purpose of the dissertation. The main contribution of the dissertation is that it identifies, develops and empirically tests concepts related to contingencies, stakeholder influences and the working style in the boardroom to better understand what might enable (or hinder) boards to perform their tasks and contribute to firm performance in SMEs. The overall findings in the four empirical studies suggest that the extent to which the board of directors in SMEs provide the firm with differential benefits and contribute to firm performance is not as simple and direct as many past studies assume. There consequently seem to be a need to go beyond the assumptions of simple and direct relationships between observable board characteristics and firm performance to better understand how boards contribute to the direction and performance of an enterprise, and future research should continue to develop theory of how contingencies, stakeholder influences and the working style in the boardroom can moderate the potential value-adding effect of a board of directors in SMEs.},
  author       = {Gabrielsson, Jonas},
  isbn         = {91-628-5760-6},
  keyword      = {Företagsledning,management,Management of enterprises,stakeholders,SMEs,firm performance,governance,contingencies,Boards of directors,board working style},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {250},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xbb17488)},
  title        = {Boards and governance in SMEs: An inquiry into boards’ contribution to firm performance},
  year         = {2003},
}