Exploring the social factors that influence the decision-making behaviours of non-executive directors in Australian public companies

Thuraisingham, S 2017, Exploring the social factors that influence the decision-making behaviours of non-executive directors in Australian public companies, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Accounting, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Exploring the social factors that influence the decision-making behaviours of non-executive directors in Australian public companies
Author(s) Thuraisingham, S
Year 2017
Abstract This inductive study explores and explains non-executive directors’ (NEDs) contribution to major corporate strategic decisions. It addresses the often undersocialised view of corporate boards by recognising boards as complex social systems embedded in complex power asymmetries and group identity affects. Drawing from theories in social psychology and organisational theory, this study explores the behavioural side of corporate governance and contributes to the understanding of the origins, reasons, dynamics and consequences of boardroom influence of NEDs. The decision practices of 15 large Australian public companies are studied through NEDs’ narrations of their decision experiences when faced with the task of shaping strategy—an important aspect of their advisory accountabilities. By focusing this study on large transformative decisions, it aims to contribute to a deeper understanding of the processes of influence relating to value-creating decisions. The findings have identified significant variations in the sense NEDs make of their decision experiences and their influence attempts in response to their ‘sensemaking’. It also illuminates how the effects of group membership, identification and power differentials interact to create a unique social reality and how this social reality moderates the use of decision influence. This study has implications for scholarship, policy and practice relating to influence in and around a boardroom. It contributes a new psychosocial dimension to corporate governance theory, which historically has underestimated the role of human dynamics in a boardroom. It also contributes policy insights into practices that create strategically active boards and the enablers that help a board reach its full potential as a strategic decision-making group.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Accounting
Subjects Corporate Governance and Stakeholder Engagement
Industrial and Organisational Psychology
Organisation and Management Theory
Keyword(s) Corporate governance
Company directors
Decision making
Board dynamic
Board influence
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Created: Thu, 07 Jun 2018, 08:35:58 EST by Adam Rivett
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