Arjen van Witteloostuijn
Gerwin van der Laan
Annette van den Berg
Ann Jorissen, University of Antwerp
Christophe Van der Elst, RUG
Marc Jegers, VUB
Marc Deloof, University of Antwerp
The aim of this research project on governance is to study governance practices from a holistic approach, in contrast to the piecemeal approach of the extant literature and to develop a contingency model of governance. Taking into account that universal remedies are counterproductive, we develop a contingency perspective that diagnoses the specific conditions needed to make specific governance practices contribute to organizational outcome (e.g. success or failure measured by multi-attributes). The specific conditions relate to actor characteristics (owners, directors, managers and employees), to the institutional environment, to the organizational form and to other intervening variables (e.g. life cycle of the company, industry antecedents, etcetera).
Besides the development of a contingency model for governance, the research in each of the individual work packages will progress beyond the state-of-the-art. The research questions developed in these packages, all address gaps in the current literature. As such the research results of the individual work packages contribute to the existing literature by providing novel insights on variables largely ignored in the extant literature (e.g. changes in governance practices over the life cycle of an organization, the introduction of family heterogeneity in family governance research, the impact of works council’s demographic variables on organizational outcome). The research on governance in the different organizational forms will consider endogeneity problems and collect information on interaction processes (processes in the board of directors, in the general assembly, in the governance committees were employees are represented) were possible. With this particular research approach we respond to the call in the governance literature to open up the black box of governance processes.
In all work packages data on governance practices will be collected which are unique and which provide opportunities for further research. Through cross country comparison in many work packages, insights can be gathered as to whether governance practices developed in other institutional environments can be transposed to Flanders. This research will be the start for the development of a general theory of governance in a later stage.