This week marks a red letter point in my doctoral journey because, on Thu 13th, I will visit the Boardroom of Company Beta (*), observing and recording the meeting. Finally, after twelve months of reviewing the literature, proposal writing and careful planning, I've reached the milestone point where data collection can commence. It feels good! Over the next year, I will be gathering data from several sources within three companies (Board reports, minutes and meeting observations; Chair and CEO interviews; annual accounts; historical performance data), and trying to make sense of it.
To those readers not familiar with my doctoral research: I am investigating the relationship between governance and performance, with the overall goal of providing an explanation of how Boards actually contribute to business performance (because we don't know). The research design is a longitudinal multiple-case study, underpinned by a philosophy called critical realism, and the direct observation of Boards in situ. This combination has never been tackled before—hopefully I haven't bitten off too much! If you'd like to learn more, have a look at the papers on my Research page, or contact me directly.
(*) Company Beta is so-named because it was the second company to provide approval to participate in my doctoral research. Anonymity is an important condition of this research, to protect the companies and give them confidence that what is reported in the final thesis is not identifiable back to source. I'm due in the Boardroom of Company Alpha in late June, and am still negotiating with a couple of companies to become Company Gamma.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and effective board practice; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.