Some issues arising from the role relationships of the non-executive director
This research has selected a number of areas of member theorising about the role and role relationships of the non-executive director for discussion and analysis. The kinds of things members theorise about are; the nature of the role, the issue of competent role performance, the relationships they form with relevant others, and the ways in which power and/or influence is exercised, both by themselves and others. The basic question this research is addressing is: how is outsider participation in top-level decision-making within an organisation managed? The answer to this, in effect, constitutes a theory of the work and role relationships of the non-executive director. Inherent in this is the perception of the non-executive director, by himself and by others, as an essentially marginal figure occupying what is frequently seen as a rather ambiguous role. Given that members' accounts and theories of action are crucial in building an adequate theory of the non-executive director's role and role relationships, the methodology adopted is one which uses the verstehen approach. The intention is to directly take account of the members' perspectives, the theoretical frameworks constructed by members as an explanation of their activities in the organisation and to consider the relationships of these theoretical frameworks to conventional sociological and organisational theory. The research is therefore intended to represent an advance in the theory of organisation, especially as regards role relationships, and the relationship of marginal organisation members to that organisation; also to represent a further development of the use of the verstehen approach in relation to business and industrial organisations.