Board Leadership and Strategy Involvement in Small Firms: A Team Production Approach


  • Note: All authors contributed equally – corresponding author listed first.

Silke Machold, Management Research Centre, University of Wolverhampton Business School, MN Building, Nursery Street, Wolverhampton WV1 1AD, UK. E-mail:


Manuscript Type: Empirical

Research Question/Issue: Boards' involvement in strategy is generally seen to be an indicator of board effectiveness, but less is known about the relationship between board leadership and strategy involvement, especially in small firms. This study analyzes board leadership from a team production perspective as an antecedent to board strategy involvement in small firms.

Research Findings/Insights: Using survey data from 140 small firms in Norway collected in two different time periods, we demonstrate that leadership behaviors and processes have a greater impact on boards' strategy involvement than structural leadership characteristics alone.

Theoretical/Academic Implications: The study provides empirical support for a team production perspective on boards. Our data show that (1) board members' knowledge, board development, and board chairperson leadership efficacy positively influence boards' strategy involvement, and (2) chairperson leadership efficacy enhances boards' strategy involvement under structural conditions of combined CEO/chairperson leadership and changes in board composition. These findings expand the traditional understanding of structural leadership conditions.

Practitioner/Policy Implications: The study offers insights to small business owners and managers on how to improve the strategy involvement of boards. For policy makers, the study has implications for the content of codes of good governance practice relevant to small firms, specifically in relation to board development initiatives and board evaluations.