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The impacts of digital technologies on board directors in medium-sized UK companies

Goncalves de Oliveira, F. (2021) The impacts of digital technologies on board directors in medium-sized UK companies. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00115314


This exploratory qualitative inquiry examines the perspectives of 28 board members in medium-sized, privately held companies operating in the United Kingdom. The study question investigates how digital technologies (DT) are impacting on board director capabilities. Different board members’ experiences from their own perspectives are examined, with attention on capturing the influence of digital technologies on the way that board directors work. There are few studies investigating the effects of extensive technology adoption in the practices of boards of directors. The board of directors is liable, legally responsible for the results of their strategic decisions, and the main link between shareholders and top management teams. Their decisions are strategic and can impact the whole society. Board members’ decisions range from new investments on manufacturing plants to mass layoffs. Therefore, the board of directors is in the centre of the digital ecosystem, and a deeper understanding of how digital technologies changes their way of work, attitudes, and behaviour is of public interest. Therefore, this study aims to explore how digital technologies are impacting the way board of directors work. Qualitative inquiry explores two aspects of their experiences: how digital technologies impact the way board directors work and how to enhance strategic priorities in engagement with digital technologies. Thematic analysis is engaged as a rigorous approach for obtaining a deeper understanding of individual director experiences. Findings indicate that digital technologies impact all board directors in four major areas: gathering, interpreting, and sharing information; board stewardship; strategizing; scoping predictive strategic priorities, and digital value creation. A critical contribution is to Resource Dependency Theory as an outcome-focused lens that best captures firms’ interest in digital technological advantage through board contribution and outcomes. In conclusion, practical recommendations for board members and regulators are highlighted.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Molesworth, M.
Thesis/Report Department:Henley Business School
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Henley Business School
ID Code:115314

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