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The chairperson buffering role in turbulent environments

Morais, F., Kakabadse, A. and Kakabadse, N. (2018) The chairperson buffering role in turbulent environments. In: British Academy of Management (BAM) Corporate Governance Special Interest Group Conference, 11-12 June 2018, Leeds, United Kingdom.

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Abstract/Summary

This paper responds to recent calls for further research on the interactions and key relationships among governance roles (Ahrens et al., 2011), particularly the role of the chairperson (Bailey and Peck, 2013; Withers and Fitza, 2017), through the use of qualitative methodologies that enable a more direct engagement with the actors and settings involved in the governance phenomena (McNulty et al., 2013:184). The study uses elite interviewing techniques with 30 chairpersons and CEOs of UK listed companies to inquiry into the role demands, constraints, choices and supports of the chairperson of the board of firms facing complex, low-munificence environments and poor performance (Krause, 2017; Withers and Fitza, 2017). The findings emerging from thematic analysis reveal the centrality of the chairperson buffering role in relation to the CEO, which encapsulates a portfolio of other chairperson roles which insulate the CEO from external pressures, and regulate the CEO cognition, emotion and behaviour in relation to those pressures. In so doing this paper contributes do resource dependence theory, by showing that the chairpersons provide resources under which have an insulating or regulating function, and that this supports the CEO and the board in adapting to environmental change and pressures. The paper provides empirical evidence and a case for an integrated view of the chairperson role(s) in contexts of resource-scarcity, complexity and poor performance, as well as important avenues for future research on the role of the chairperson.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Henley Business School > Marketing and Reputation
ID Code:78508

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