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The future role of the chair in Europe

Morais, F. and Kakabadse, A. (2018) The future role of the chair in Europe. In: Leading a Board: Chair's Practices Across Europe. Springer, Singapore. (In Press)

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Abstract/Summary

This final chapter offers a forward-looking view that emerged from our research on how the chair’s role and functions will evolve over the coming decade. As is often the case in the corporate governance domain, such changes will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary, but their impact will be felt across multiple dimensions. In this chapter we identify changes pertaining to: i) the chair’s demographic profile; ii) the role, tasks and capabilities of the high-performing chair in light of key developments; and iii) the impact of technology on the way in which the chair works. This chapter focuses on an identifying and discussing three main drivers of the role and required capabilities of high-performing chairs over the next decade: a) shareholder activism and engagement, and sustainability; b) the increased frequency of business disruptions; and c) board leadership of corporate culture. These factors will combine to make the chair’s role not only more challenging and demanding, but also more important and indeed pivotal. The chair will sit at the apex of the corporate governance system overseeing a more complex, more uncertain and ambiguous environment. As the next decade progresses, the chair’s position will rise to prominence at the top of our organizations, eclipsing that of the CEO. We begin by discussing some of the demographic trends we can currently observe regarding the chair position – and which we envisage continuing in the next decade. Next we discuss the three key factors that we believe will come to shape the chair’s role and define the capabilities required to be effective in that position. A section then follows on how new technology in the boardroom will affect the chair’s role. The chapter concludes by considering the balance of the chair’s role in terms of monitoring versus stewardship.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Henley Business School > Marketing and Reputation
ID Code:81110
Publisher:Springer

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