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Board Leadership Newsletter: Policy Governance in Action, Number 67, 2003

Board Leadership Newsletter: Policy Governance in Action, Number 67, 2003

John Carver (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-787-97089-5

Jul 2003, Jossey-Bass

8 pages

Select type: Paperback


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In this issue:

Why Size Matters
by Caroline Oliver

There are a number of reasons why a board may be large, among them the desire to have diverse representation. But whatever the reasons, there comes a point at which a board becomes too cumbersome to effectively represent its ownership. It is difficult to have meaningful debate in large groups--progress is slow, factions may form, and resources are wasted. In this article, Caroline Oliver lays out some critical questions that boards should consider in order to determine if their membership is too big; she then offers some preliminary suggestions about how a board may get its membership to optimum size and maximum effectiveness.

A New Basis for Governance Effectiveness Research
by John Carver

Most governance research to date has consisted of descriptions of various types of governance arrangements. Absent from the literature is an underlying organizing principal, a conception of the fundamental purpose of governance. Without this underlying principle, attempts to assess effectiveness will fail. In this article, John Carver proposes a succinct definition of the purpose of governance and draws out some necessary consequences of this definition. This conception of the purpose of governance can serve as an underlying principle to guide research on the effectiveness of governance.