The Balancing Act of Effective Supervision: Understanding the Relationship between Internal and External Supervision

Melanie Mira de Waal

Onderzoeksoutput: Thesis fully internal (DIV)

492 Downloads (Pure)


Effective internal and external supervision are both essential to safeguard sound decision making in organizations. There is limited empirical and theoretical knowledge, however, about the independent and joint impact of internal and external supervision on the actual decisions of organization members. The central question in this dissertation is therefore: what makes each supervisory body effective, independently and combined, in relation to decision making in organizations?

This dissertation aims to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the effectiveness of internal and external supervision, by examining how, when and why internal and external supervision, independently and together, impact decision making. To achieve this aim, the dissertation integrates different streams of literature in the disciplines of corporate governance, organizational behavior and social psychology, and combines field and experimental research methods to study decision making of Top Management Teams (TMTs), middle managers, and employees.

The results suggest that achieving supervisory effectiveness is a balancing act. The empirical research shows that the effectiveness of internal and external supervision is often interrelated, and depends on social processes and structural governance factors that are present in organizations and teams. The findings also demonstrate that internal supervision has a stronger impact in relation to organization members’ decisions than external supervision, and that therefore external supervision can strengthen and complement internal supervision.

This dissertation also provides practical insights for organizations, supervisory bodies, and policymakers to enhance the effectiveness of internal and external supervision, and to optimize their interplay.
Originele taal-2English
KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
Toekennende instantie
  • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
  • Stoker, Janka, Supervisor
  • Rink, Floor, Supervisor
Datum van toekenning22-okt.-2020
Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
StatusPublished - 2020

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