Who's the Boss at the Top? A Micro-Level Analysis of Director Expertise, Status and Conformity Within Boards

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In this paper we address how director expertise impacts a director's social status and conformity within the board. Our results, derived from two unique multi-source datasets of peer ratings on director status and conformity of non-executive directors from Dutch organizations, indicate that industry-specific expertise and financial expertise differently impact directors' social status and influence within the board. We find that directors' individual performance orientation - the motivation to demonstrate expertise - acts as an important contingency for expertise to increase directors' status within the board. Additional analyses using archival data and interviews with non-executive directors substantiate our findings and provide additional insight into the dynamics operating within boards. This study extends existing research on boards of directors and provides unique micro-level insights into the boardroom dynamics that connect director expertise to director status and conformity within boards.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1079-1110
Aantal pagina's32
TijdschriftJournal of Management Studies
Nummer van het tijdschrift7
Vroegere onlinedatum25-mei-2017
StatusPublished - nov.-2017

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