One of the things I need to tackle in my PhD is to ground my research in theory. Simply, it isn't acceptable to conjure up some grand scheme without showing the theoretical basis from which your ideas emerge. As none of the three main theories of governance (agency, stewardship and resource dependency) account for all situations, I have been looking at decision theory as the theoretical basis for my research. Further, research method also needs a theoretical basis. I am planning to use an iterative inductive-deductive-inductive method, based on grounded theory.
Do you know of someone in New Zealand or Australia who is an expert in decision theory or grounded theory? If so, can you please contact me because I'd like to speak with them to build my knowledge. Equally, if you can point me to some good books or academic articles, I'd appreciate that as well. As these theories are new territory for me, I'd welcome any and all suggestions—thanks in advance!
Earlier this year, my wife and I celebrated 25 years of marriage. When we announced this milestone to several friends and colleagues they were genuinely thrilled for us—because, sadly, many marriages don't last the test of time. Rather than working together over a lifetime, couples seem to reach for divorce proceedings when the going gets a bit tough. In our case, I could not have achieved what I have without my wife. I'd like to think I've reciprocated to help her realise her dreams.
I'm a firm believer that behind (actually, beside) every good man is a very capable woman. Together, more is possible. It's as simple as that.
Have you ever thought what it might be like to pack your world into an economy class bag? Our Megan flew out from New Zealand yesterday, for a 12 month student exchange in Belgium. The picture shows what life condensed into 31kg looks like—20kg of packed luggage, 7kg of cabin bag and 4kg (yes, 4!) of handbag. It never ceases to amaze me what a girl can get into a handbag!
The picture was taken at check-in at Auckland, New Zealand—all smiles ahead 30+ hours of flights and airport transfers. The joys of long-distance travel!
The first (planning) phase of my doctorate journey is drawing to a close. In the next few weeks I expect to finalise my research proposal and defend it in front of the University Confirmation Panel. Assuming that goes well, I can start the research proper, by selecting three companies to participate in the research. I have one already, but need at least two more. Here are the parameters:
Would you like to participate in some ground-breaking research to explore the contribution boards make to company performance? The research will involve observation of board meetings and some interviews, and all company details will be kept 100% confidential.
Please contact me if your company might be willing to participate, if you know of a company I should consider, or you would like more information. Thanks in advance!
A seemingly small—but ultimately quite significant—statement emerged from the corporate governance sector this week. The CEO of one of New Zealand's larger companies went on record when announcing the company's annual result. He stated that his directors must act in the best interests of the company (not the shareholder).
Meridian chief executive Mark Binns said the company would take time to evaluate the situation but would ultimately come to a decision that was in the best interests of Meridian Energy Limited. ''The obligations of the directors are very clearly set out in companies law and the Companies Act, that is to act in the best interests of the company.''
This was a refreshing statement, because most directors and executives (in New Zealand) incorrectly believe their role is to act in the best interests of the shareholder. Research conducted in 2010 by Dr James Lockhart indicated that the majority of directors in New Zealand simply do not understand their legal obligations. The New Zealand Company Act is quite clear: directors must act in the best interests of company. Well done, Mr Binns.
Like hundreds of millions of viewers around the world, I have been watching the Olympics on television over the last week or so. Cycling, weightlifting and athletics are the sports that capture my imagination. The technical skill and mental capabilities of the athletes astounds me. How do they move so fast, throw so far, lift so high? In most cases, years and years of preparation go before a single moment, an opportunity to excel, to win.
Winning is important to competitors, and to nations. You just have to look at the response of those athletes that expected to win but didn't. At what point does winning become an unhealthy obsession? Winning needs to be held in context. Is the ultimate goal to vanquish others, to prove a point, or to fully realise one's one potential?
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.