Quotation Klarner, Patricia, Probst, Gilbert, Useem, Michael. 2020. Opening the black box: Unpacking board involvement in innovation. Strategic Organization. 18 (4), 487-519.




Corporate governance research suggests that boards of directors play key roles in governing company strategy. Although qualitative research has examined board–management relationships to describe board involvement in strategy, we lack detailed insights into how directors engage with organizational members for governing a complex and long-term issue such as product innovation. Our multiple-case study of four listed pharmaceutical firms reveals a sequential process of board involvement: Directors with deep expertise govern scientific innovation, followed by the full board’s involvement in its strategic aspects. The nature of director involvement varies across board levels in terms of the direction (proactive or reactive), timing (regular or spontaneous), and the extent of formality of exchanges between directors and organizational members. Our study contributes to corporate governance research by introducing the concept of board behavioral diversity and by theorizing about the multilevel, structural, and temporal dimensions of board behavior and its relational characteristics.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Strategic Organization
Citation Index SSCI
WU Journalrating 2009 A
WU-Journal-Rating new MAN-A, STRAT-B, WH-B
Language English
Title Opening the black box: Unpacking board involvement in innovation
Volume 18
Number 4
Year 2020
Page from 487
Page to 519
Reviewed? Y
URL https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1476127019839321
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/1476127019839321
Open Access Y
Open Access Link https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1476127019839321


Klarner, Patricia (Details)
Probst, Gilbert (University of Geneva, Switzerland)
Useem, Michael (University of Pennsylvania, United States/USA)
Institute for Organization Design IN (Details)
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