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The changing role of the supervisory board chairman the case of the Netherlands (1997–2007) Download

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Over the last ten years, the corporate governance context in most Western countries has changed as a result of irregularities, increased regulation, heightened societal expectations and shareholder activism.

This paper examines the impact of the changing context on the role of chairmen of supervisory boards in the Netherlands. Based on a combination of thirty semi-structured interviews with board members of leading Dutch corporations and secondary data on the position of supervisory board chairmen at the top-100 listed firms in the Netherlands, the study reveals that board chairmen have become increasingly involved in both their control and service roles.

While the demographics (i.e., age, tenure, gender and nationality) of chairmen have hardly changed over the last decade, chairmen are spending considerably more time on boards and committees, have reduced the number of board interlocks and have become more active on the forefront of the corporate governance discussion. The paper highlights several implications for scholars and practitioners.

Submitted On:
16 Jul 2011
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