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Title: Role and contribution of the non-executive director : implications for corporate social responsibility in the boardroom
Author: Barratt, Ruth
ISNI:       0000 0001 3447 3939
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2005
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This research examines the role and contribution of the Non Executive Director (NED) within the corporate board. The literature identifies the NED as a boundary spanner. Boundary spanners are believed to be essential to the fulfilment of the firm's corporate responsibility mandate. The research specifically examines the ability of the NED to influence corporate responsibility practices within the board, whilst balancing the divergent expectations of different constituents. Previous research examining the role of the NED has failed to take account of the context in which the role is performed. Therefore an interpretive framework is developed, to examine the individual subjective perceptions of the NED, from within the role. Through a qualitative interpretation of 25 in-depth interviews, with individual NEDs, the dynamic context of the boardroom emerged as a key moderator of the their ability to make a contribution. The boundary spanning role prescribed for the NED by some theorists emerged as problematic. The research suggests that despite NEDs' personal expectation that they should represent a range of constituents, within the boardroom their ability to fulfil this role is often limited by the presence of groupthink. NEDs appear to set aside their personal beliefs in order to maintain the status quo within the group. As a result of their unfulfilled role expectations many NEDs appear to experience role conflict. This research contributes to our understanding of the actual role of the NED within the corporate board, and specifically the NED's ability to perform a boundary spanning role. The research also informs business and society literature, by examining how boards currently deal with issues of corporate responsibility. Finally, the research contributes to both group and role theory, by developing current understanding of how the complex dynamics of the group affect the individual's ability to contribute.
Supervisor: Kakabadse, Andrew P. ; Kakabadse, Nada K. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available