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Investigating the Development of the Internal and External Service Tasks of Non-executive Directors: the case of the Netherlands (1997-2005)

  • Pieter-Jan Bezemer
  • Gregory F. Maassen

    (RSM Erasmus University)

  • Frans A. J. Van den Bosch

    (Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands)

  • Henk W. Volberda

    (RSM Erasmus University)

During the last decade, globalisation and liberalisation of financial markets, changing societal expectations and corporate governance scandals have increased the attention for the fiduciary duties of non-executive directors. In this context, recent corporate governance reform initiatives have emphasised the control task and independence of non-executive directors. However, little attention has been paid to their impact on the external and internal service tasks of non-executive directors. Therefore, this paper investigates how the service tasks of non-executive directors have evolved in the Netherlands. Data on corporate governance at the top-100 listed companies in the Netherlands between 1997 and 2005 show that the emphasis on non-executive directors' external service task has shifted to their internal service task, i.e. from non-executive directors acting as boundary spanners to non-executive directors providing advice and counselling to executive directors. This shift in board responsibilities affects non-executive directors' ability to generate network benefits through board relationships and has implications for non-executive directors' functional requirements. Copyright (c) 2007 The Authors; Journal compilation (c) 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Corporate Governance: An International Review.

Volume (Year): 15 (2007)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 1119-1129

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Handle: RePEc:bla:corgov:v:15:y:2007:i:6:p:1119-1129
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  1. Laura F. Spira & Ruth Bender, 2004. "Compare and Contrast: perspectives on board committees," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(4), pages 489-499, October.
  2. C. Ingley & N. van der Walt, 2005. "Do Board Processes Influence Director and Board Performance? Statutory and performance implications," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(5), pages 632-653, 09.
  3. Sumantra Ghoshal & Harry Korine & Gabriel Szulanski, 1994. "Interunit Communication in Multinational Corporations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(1), pages 96-110, January.
  4. Paul Collier & Mahbub Zaman, 2005. "Convergence in European Corporate Governance: the audit committee concept," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(6), pages 753-768, November.
  5. Gregory Maassen & Frans van den Bosch, 1999. "On the Supposed Independence of Two-tier Boards: formal structure and reality in the Netherlands," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 31-37, 01.
  6. J. A. van Hamel & H. E. van Wijk & A. J. H. de Rooij & M. Bruel, 1998. "Boardroom Dynamics - Lessons in Governance," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 193-201, 07.
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