Article

Boards in action: processes and practices of 'strategising' in the Boardroom

Citation

Watson C & Ireland A (2020) Boards in action: processes and practices of 'strategising' in the Boardroom. Journal of Management and Governance. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10997-020-09545-7

Abstract
Normative expectations are that Governing Boards will be involved in setting the strategic direction of the organisation. However, knowledge of the processes and practices by which Boards engage in strategy is limited. In particular, very few empirical studies have penetrated the ‘black box’ of the Boardroom and examined the complex Board/Management interactions that amount to Boards ‘doing’ strategy. Here we address this gap, presenting an in-depth analysis of an unfolding process in which the Board and Management of a single organisation engaged in setting strategic direction over an 18-month period. We observed planning events, video-recorded Board meetings, analysed texts pertaining to the initiative, and spoke to key personnel. We adopt a ‘strong’ process approach which brings together strategy as process and as practice (SAPP). Our analysis is multi-modal: we track the iterative development of the strategy through documents/texts produced for Board meetings; and we adopt a sociomaterial approach in illuminating the entanglements of the human and nonhuman which constitute strategising. By considering events over a series of episodes, we have built a picture showing how micro-level practices in the Boardroom are layered incrementally in the emergence of strategy at organisational level. Relatedly, we show how these practices enable the Board to negotiate the tensions between control and service/collaboration. Hence the paper contributes to theory and knowledge around Board engagement in strategic activities.

Keywords
Corporate governing; Interactive strategising; Procedural strategising; Sociomateriality; Video-based analysis

Notes
Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online

Journal
Journal of Management and Governance

StatusIn Press
Publication date online31/12/2020
Date accepted by journal29/10/2020
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/32102
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC
ISSN1385-3457
eISSN1572-963X