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Board Evaluations: making a fit between the purpose and the system


  • Alessandro Minichilli
  • Jonas Gabrielsson

    (School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Sweden)

  • Morten Huse

    (Tor Vergata University, Rome)


Board evaluations can contribute to effective boards and improved corporate financial performance. The increasing interest in the practice of board evaluations, however, calls for a more systematic and careful approach than has been employed in the past. While most attention has primarily been focused on the content of board evaluations, this article outlines the features of various possible board evaluation systems. Based on state-of-the-art research on boards and governance, we contend that a comprehensive board evaluation system needs to include decisions about: (a) the agent who evaluates the board; (b) the content, or what the evaluation should deal with; (c) the addressee and other stakeholders for whom the board is evaluated; and (d) how the board is evaluated. These key decisions should not be seen as independent of each other as they have consequences for the kind of system that will be adopted. Following this argument, we present four different board evaluation systems: (i) board-to-board, (ii) board-to-market, (iii) market-to-board and (iv) market-to-market. The key message we communicate in this article is that there must be a fit between the purpose and the system of board evaluations. There is no universal or "one best way" to evaluate boards of directors. Board evaluations will not meet their purpose unless there is a fit between the agents, the addressees, the content and the modalities of the evaluation. It is important to know who is doing what for whom and how. Copyright (c) 2007 The Authors; Journal compilation (c) 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Minichilli & Jonas Gabrielsson & Morten Huse, 2007. "Board Evaluations: making a fit between the purpose and the system," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(4), pages 609-622, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:corgov:v:15:y:2007:i:4:p:609-622

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    Cited by:

    1. Veltrop, D.B. & Hermes, C.L.M. & Postma, T.J.B.M. & de Haan, J., 2012. "A tale of two factions," Research Report 12001-HRM&OB, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    2. Haan & Postma & Hermes & Veltrop, 2012. "A Tale of Two Factions: Exploring the Relationship between Factional Faultlines and Conflict Management in Pension Fund Boards," Research Report 12001-HRMOB, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    3. Saskia CRUCKE & Nathalie MORAY & Nathalie VALLET, 2015. "Some Internal representation and Factional Faultlines as Antecedents for Board Performance in Social Enterprises," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(2), pages 385-400, June.
    4. repec:dgr:rugsom:12001-hrmob is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Alessandro Carretta & Vincenzo Farina & Paola Schwizer, 2010. "Assessing effectiveness and compliance of banking boards," Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 18(4), pages 356-369, November.
    6. Lin, Philip T. & Li, Bin & Bu, Danlu, 2015. "The relationship between corporate governance and community engagement: Evidence from the Australian mining companies," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 28-39.
    7. Maarten Vandewaerde & Wim Voordeckers & Frank Lambrechts & Yannick Bammens, 2011. "Board Team Leadership Revisited: A Conceptual Model of Shared Leadership in the Boardroom," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 104(3), pages 403-420, December.
    8. Vandebeek, Alana & Voordeckers, Wim & Lambrechts, Frank & Huybrechts, Jolien, 2016. "Board role performance and faultlines in family firms: The moderating role of formal board evaluation," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 249-259.

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