How boards influence organisational performance
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As the effects of the global financial crisis upon organisational performance become increasingly evident and with some commentators implicating corporate governance in respect of corporate casualties, it is clear that a fresh approach is needed to understand the extent of influence that boards may have on their companies. This study proposes and confirms that a board's influence is facilitated through interactions with the executives in a relational space we have termed the “third team”. To address this proposition, a survey of board and executive members of for-profit and not-for-profit organisations was conducted, followed by semi-structured interviews with a selection of participants. In exploring the interactions between the board and the executive, the study focused on the mix of characteristics in order to uncover the extent of this combined “team's” influence on organisational performance. The paper draws support for this model and the concept of shared leadership - an important element within the third team - from various authors (e.g. Drucker, 1989, 1990, Kozlowski & Bell, 2003, Pearce & Conger, 2003, Trecker, 1971, Vandewaerde, Voordeckers, Lambrechts, & Bammens, 2011). Shared leadership does not equate with equality; it does, however, highlight the conceptualisation of the combined board-executive as a team with a degree of shared leadership and responsibility for organisational performance.