Groningen, Netherlands

Corporate Governance and the Effectiveness of Boards

when 8 July 2024 - 12 July 2024
language English
duration 1 week
credits 1.5 EC
fee EUR 650

What do boards do? What factors influence what they do and how they do it? How do they perform and contribute to the overall performance of the company they represent? In this summer school we answer these questions, taking a multi-disciplinary approach using insights from economics, finance, management,sociology and psychology.

Understanding how corporate boards are formed and how they act has become an important topic. Corporate failures and scandals such as Enron and Parmalat in the early 2000s and, more recently Tesco (2014), Volkswagen (2015), and Wirecard (2020), have heated up debates among investors, policy makers, media, academics and the wider public, with respect to the role of boards in these scandals. Simultaneously, boards have to deal with new questions and norms, such as increasing environmental, social and governance concerns. In general, boards play a key role within organizations and the economic system in general.

Board research primarily explores the impact of boards on firm strategic decisions and outcomes. Initially, emphasis was on linking board and individual traits to firm performance metrics. More recently, scholars have shifted focus to contextualizing boards' roles within firms, considering formal (laws, regulations, government quality) and informal institutions (culture, values, trust) as determinants of board characteristics, roles, and decision-making processes.

Simultaneously, more recent research delves into cognitive and behavioral dimensions of team and board decision-making. This area aims to unveil the "black box" of interactions among members, elucidating their effects on decision-making, team/board effectiveness, and organizational performance. Key areas of focus include trust, conflict management, commitment, information sharing, reflexivity, among others.

Aim of the summer school
The aim of this summer school is to discuss the strength and weaknesses of both research pillars and their contribution to our understanding of how boards are formed and how they work in order to effectively perform their roles. We explicitly aim to determine to what extent their questions, methods, data, and outcomes are complementary or substitutes. Our approach is multi-disciplinary, meaning that we discuss research from economics, finance, management,sociology and psychology. We will also deal with measurement issues and discuss datasets and methodologies to use these datasets in research. Participants are invited to present their own research (ideas) in the field of board effectiveness.

Course leader

Niels Hermes

Target group

This course is designed for Research Master students, PhD students, Postdoc researchers, Academics (assistant, associate, full professor), and Practitioners with a relevant academic background and a clear interest in academic research.

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.

Course aim

After this course you will be able to:

- define and describe the basic elements of a corporate governance system;
- critically assess theories applied in the field of corporate governance;
- explain and discuss the major research approaches in the field of corporate governance;
- describe recent trends and topics in research on corporate governance.

Credits info

1.5 EC
The workload is estimated at 40 hours (five days from 9-5 with lectures, workshops, assignments and (paper) presentations). Participants who attend all sessions and who present a research proposal or paper on Friday will receive a certificate of participation signed by the coordinators of the summer school.

Preparation: 8 hours
Lectures: 30 hours
Presentation: 30 minutes

Upon successful completion of the programme, the Summer School offers a Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload of 40 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.

Fee info

EUR 650: this includes lunches, coffee breaks and two dinners

Register for this course
on course website