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Internal Governance in the Nonprofit Boardroom: a participant observer study


  • Lee David Parker


This paper presents the results of a longitudinal complete member researcher participant observer study of two nonprofit association boards with particular reference to their internal corporate governance processes. In doing so, it offers one of the very few available insider observational studies of boardroom behaviour currently available in the management literature. Its inductive analysis reveals boards that proactively manage director recruitment and selection, board member terms and rotation, with a strong emphasis on board membership diversity and representation. A clear progression from informal to formal processes of board and director performance evaluation are observed, and a variability in board-CEO relationships is explored. Agenda structuring changes are observed to directly impact upon strategy and policy focus, while informality and humour emerge as key weapons in the maintenance of cohesion in an increasingly business-oriented environment. Boardroom culture emerges as a potent ingredient in the governance process, thereby signalling its future importance for both researchers and board chairs. Copyright (c) 2007 The Author; Journal compilation (c) 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Lee David Parker, 2007. "Internal Governance in the Nonprofit Boardroom: a participant observer study," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(5), pages 923-934, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:corgov:v:15:y:2007:i:5:p:923-934

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stiles, Philip & Taylor, Bernard, 2001. "Boards at Work: How Directors View their Roles and Responsibilities," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288763.
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