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Boards at WorkHow Directors View their Roles and Responsibilities$
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Philip Stiles and Bernard Taylor

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199258161

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199258161.001.0001

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The Strategic Role of the Board

The Strategic Role of the Board

Chapter:
(p.31) 4 The Strategic Role of the Board
Source:
Boards at Work
Author(s):

Philip Stiles (Contributor Webpage)

Bernard Taylor (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199258161.003.0004

The board's involvement in corporate strategy is often taken as the defining characteristic of its role in an organisation. This chapter focuses on the strategic role of the boards of directors and argues that, while the board is not involved in strategy formulation, it determines the strategic context within which the firm operates. The board sets the context of strategy by establishing and actively reviewing the corporate definition (the ‘what business are we in’ question), through its gatekeeping function (actively assessing and reviewing strategic proposals, and often changing proposals through comment and advice), via confidence-building (encouraging managers with good track record in their strategic aims), and via selection of directors (the outcomes of which send strong signals to the rest of the organisation concerning the type of person who succeeds and the standards others have to attain).

Keywords:   boards of directors, strategic role, corporate strategy, corporate definition, gatekeeping, confidence-building, selection

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