This study explores how board leadership may influence the board dynamic managerial capabilities. We draw on the dynamic capabilities perspective to examine the effect of board chairs on the dynamic managerial capabilities of the board of directors. Using survey data from a sample of 410 Norwegian firms, our results reveal that board chair human capital is positively related to the board’s sensing, seizing, and reconfiguring capabilities. Moreover, we find the positive effects of board chair human capital on board sensing and seizing capabilities to be stronger under higher environmental dynamism. Our study suggests that board chairs can play an important leadership role in developing dynamic managerial capabilities at the board level, particularly in more dynamic environments.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Åberg, C., Kazemargi, N., & Bankewitz, M. (2017). Strategists on the board in a digital era. Business and Management Research,6(2), 40–51.
Adams, R. B., Hermalin, B. E., & Weisbach, M. S. (2010). The role of boards of directors in corporate governance: A conceptual framework and survey. Journal of Economic Literature,48(1), 58–107.
Adner, R., & Helfat, C. E. (2003). Corporate effects and dynamic managerial capabilities. Strategic Management Journal,24, 1011–1025.
Agarwal, R., & Helfat, C. E. (2009). Strategic renewal of organizations. Organization Science,20(2), 281–293.
Augier, M., & Teece, D. J. (2008). Strategy as evolution with design: The foundations of dynamic capabilities and the role of managers in the economic system. Organization Studies,29(8–9), 1187–1208.
Barney, J. (1991). Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of Management,17(1), 99–120.
Barrales-Molina, V., Bustinza, Ó. F., & Gutiérrez-Gutiérrez, L. J. (2013). Explaining the causes and effects of dynamic capabilities generation: A multiple-indicator multiple-cause modelling approach. British Journal of Management,24(4), 571–591.
Beck, J. B., & Wiersema, M. F. (2013). Executive decision making: Linking dynamic managerial capabilities to the resource portfolio and strategic outcomes. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies,20(4), 408–419.
Becker, G. (1962). Investment in human capital: A theoretical analysis. Journal of Political Economy,70(5), 9–49.
Boivie, S., Bednar, M. K., Aguilera, R. V., & Andrus, J. L. (2016). Are boards designed to fail? The implausibility of effective board monitoring. Academy of Management Annals,10, 1–89.
Buchholtz, A. K., Ribbens, B. A., & Houle, I. T. (2003). The role of human capital in postacquisition CEO departure. Academy of Management Journal,46(4), 506–514.
Castanias, R. P., & Helfat, C. E. (1991). Managerial resources and rents. Journal of Management,17(1), 155–171.
Castanias, R. P., & Helfat, C. E. (2001). The managerial rents model: Theory and empirical analysis. Journal of Management,27, 661–678.
Drnevich, P. L., & Kriauciunas, A. P. (2011). Clarifying the conditions and limits of the contributions of ordinary and dynamic capabilities to relative firm performance. Strategic Management Journal,32(3), 254–279.
Eisenhardt, K. M., & Martin, J. A. (2000). Dynamic capabilities: What are they? Strategic Management Journal,21, 1105–1121.
Fama, E. F., & Jensen, M. C. (1983). Separation of ownership and control. Journal of Law and Economics,26, 301–325.
Finkelstein, S., & Hambrick, D. C. (1990). Top-management-team tenure and organizational outcomes: The moderating role of managerial discretion. Administrative Science Quarterly: 484–503.
Finkelstein, S., Hambrick, D. C., & Cannella, A. A. (2009). Strategic leadership: theory and research on executives, top management teams, and boards. USA: Oxford University Press.
Finkelstein, S., & Mooney, A. C. (2003). Not the usual suspects: How to use board process to make boards better. Academy of Management Perspective,17(2), 101–113.
Forbes, D. P., & Milliken, F. J. (1999). Cognition and corporate governance Understanding boards of directors as strategic decision-making groups. Academy of Management Review,24(3), 489–505.
Gabrielsson, J., Huse, M., & Minichilli, A. (2007). Understanding the leadership role of the board chairperson through a team production approach. International Journal of Leadership Studies,3(1), 21–39.
Garg, S., & Eisenhardt, K. M. (2016). Unpacking the CEO-board relationship: How strategy-making happens in entrepreneurial firms. Academy of Management Journal, Forthcoming.
Gliem, J. A., & Gliem, R. R. (2003). Calculating, interpreting, and reporting Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficient for likert-type scales. 2003 Midwest Research to Practice Conference in Adult, Continuing, and Community Education.
Gulati, R. (1995). Does familiarity breed trust? The implications of repeated ties for contractual choice in alliances. Journal of Management,38(1), 85–112.
Gulati, R., & Westphal, J. D. (1999). Cooperative or controlling? The effects of CEO-board relations and the content of interlocks on the formation of joint venture. Administrative Science Quarterly,44, 473–506.
Hair, J. F., Anderson, R., Tatham, R. L., & Black, W. C. (2006). Multivariate data analysis. Upper Saddle River, NJ.: Prentice Hall.
Hambrick, D. C., & Finkelstein, S. (1987). Managerial discretion: A bridge between polar views of organizational outcomes. Research in organizational behavior.
Hambrick, D. C., Werder, A. V., & Zajac, E. J. (2008). New directions in corporate governance research. Organization Science,19(3), 381–385.
Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. New York: Guilford Press.
Haynes, K. T., & Hillman, A. J. (2010). The effect of board capital and CEO power on strategic change. Strategic Management Journal,31, 1145–1163.
Helfat, C. E., & Martin, J. A. (2014). Dynamic managerial capabilities: Review and assessment of managerial impact on strategic change. Journal of Management,41(5), 1281–1312.
Helfat, C. E., & Peteraf, M. A. (2003). The dynamic resource-based view: capability lifecycles. Strategic Management Journal,24(10), 997–1010.
Helfat, C. E., & Peteraf, M. A. (2015). Managerial cognitive capabilities and the microfoundations of dynamic capabilities. Strategic Management Journal,36(6), 831–850.
Hillman, A. J., & Dalziel, T. (2003). Boards of directors and firm performance: Integrating agency and resource dependence perspectives. Academy of Management Review,28(3), 383–396.
Huse, M. (1990). Board composition in small enterprises. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development,2(4), 363–374.
Huse, M. (2007). Boards, governance and value creation: The human side of corporate governance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Huse, M. (2009). The value creating board: Corporate governance and organisational behavior. New York: Routledge.
Johnson, S. G., Schnatterly, K., & Hill, A. D. (2013). Board composition beyond independence: Social capital, human capital, and demographics. Journal of Management,39(1), 232–262.
Kanadlı, S. B., Torchia, M., & Gabaldon, P. (2017). Increasing women’s contribution on board decision making: The importance of chairperson leadership efficacy and board openness. European Management Journal,36, 91–104.
Knockaert, M., Bjørnåli, E. S., & Erikson, T. (2015). Joining forces: Top management team and board chair characteristics as antecedents of board service involvement. Journal of Business Venturing,30(3), 420–435.
Kor, Y. Y., & Mahoney, J. T. (2005). How dynamics, management, and governance of resource deployments influence firm-level performance. Strategic Management Journal,26(5), 489–496.
Kor, Y. Y., & Mesko, A. (2013). Dynamic managerial capabilities: Configuration and orchestration of top executives’ capabilities and the firm’s dominant logic. Strategic Management Journal,34(2), 233–244.
Kor, Y. Y., & Misangyi, V. F. (2008). Outside directors’ industry-specific experience and firms’ liability of newness. Strategic Management Journal,29(12), 1345–1355.
Kor, Y. Y., & Sundaramurthy, C. (2008). Experience-based human capital and social capital of outside directors. Journal of Management,35(4), 981–1006.
Krause, R. (2017). Being the CEO’s boss: An examination of board chair orientations. Strategic Management Journal,38(3), 697–713.
Krause, R., Semadeni, M., & Withers, M. (2016). That special someone: When the board views its chair as a resource. Strategic Management Journal,37, 1990–2002.
Machold, S., & Farquhar, S. (2013). Board task evolution: A longitudinal field study in the UK. Corporate Governance: An International Review,21(2), 147–164.
Machold, S., Huse, M., Minichilli, A., & Nordqvist, M. (2011). Board leadership and strategy involvement in small firms: A team production approach. Corporate Governance: An International Review,19(4), 368–383.
Mahoney, J. T., & Kor, Y. Y. (2015). Advancing the human capital perspective on value creation by joining capabilities and governance approaches. Academy of Management Perspectives,29(3), 296–308.
Mahoney, J. T., & Pandian, J. R. (1992). The resource-based view within the conversation of strategic management. Strategic Management Journal,13(5), 363–380.
McNulty, T., & Pettigrew, A. (1999). Strategists on the board. Organization Studies,20(1), 47–74.
Minichilli, A., & Hansen, C. (2007). The board advisory tasks in small firms and the event of crises. Journal of Management and Governance,11(1), 5–22.
Minichilli, A., Zattoni, A., Nielsen, S., & Huse, M. (2012). Board task performance: An exploration of micro- and macro-level determinants of board effectiveness. Journal of Organisational Behaviour,33(2), 193–215.
Minichilli, A., Zattoni, A., & Zona, F. (2009). Making boards effective: An empirical examination of board task performance. British Journal of Management,20(1), 55–74.
Peng, Y.-S., & Fang, C.-P. (2010). Acquisition experience, board characteristics, and acquisition behavior. Journal of Business Research,63(5), 502–509.
Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J. Y., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: a critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology,88(5), 879–903.
Podsakoff, P. M., & Organ, D. W. (1986). Self-Reports in Organizational Research: Problems and Prospects. Journal of Management,12(4), 531–544.
Posner, M., & Petersen, S. (1990). The attention system of the human brain. Annual Review of Neuroscience,13, 25–42.
Pugliese, A., Bezemer, P.-J., Zattoni, A., Huse, M., Van den Bosch, F. A. J., & Volberda, H. W. (2009). Boards of directors’ contribution to strategy: A literature review and research agenda. Corporate Governance: An International Review,17(3), 292–306.
Quigley, T. J., & Hambrick, D. C. (2012). When the former ceo stays on as board chair: effects on successor discretion, strategic change, and performance. Strategic Management Journal,33(7), 834–859.
Rasmussen, J. L., & Huse, M. (2011). Corporate governance in Norway: women and employee-elected board members. Handbook on international corporate governance: 121–146.
Roberts, J., McNulty, T., & Stiles, P. (2005). Beyond agency conceptions of the work of the non-executive director: Creating accountability in the boardroom. British Journal of Management,16, S5–S26.
Rosenbloom, R. S. (2000). Leadership, capabilities, and technological change: The transformation of NCR in the electronic era. Strategic Management Journal,21, 1083–1103.
Salancik, G. R., & Pfeffer, J. (1978). A social information processing approach to job attitudes and task design. Administrative Science Quarterly,32(2), 224–253.
Seierstad, C., & Opsahl, T. (2011). For the few not the many? The effects of affirmative action on presence, prominence, and social capital of women directors in Norway. Scandinavian Journal of Management,27(1), 44–54.
Sellevoll, T., Huse, M., & Hansen, C. (2007). The value creating board. Results from the “follow-up surveys” 2005/2006 in Norwegian firms. Oslo: Norwegian School of Management.
Shropshire, C. (2010). The role of the interlocking director and board receptivity in the diffusion of practices. Academy of Management Review,35(2), 246–264.
Singh, V., & Vinnicombe, S. (2003). The 2002 female FTSE index and women directors. Women in Management Review,18(7), 349–358.
Sirmon, D. G., & Hitt, M. A. (2009). Contingencies within dynamic managerial capabilities: interdependent effects of resource investment and deployment on firm performance. Strategic Management Journal,30(13), 1375–1394.
Sirmon, D. G., Hitt, M. A., & Ireland, R. D. (2007). Managing firm resources in dynamic environments to create value: Looking inside the black box. Academy of Management Review,32(1), 273–292.
Sundaramurthy, C., Pukthuanthong, K., & Kor, Y. (2014). Positive and negative synergies between the CEO’s and the corporate board’s human and social capital: A study of biotechnology firms. Strategic Management Journal,35(6), 845–868.
Teece, D. J. (2007). Explicating dynamic capabilities: the nature and microfoundations of (sustainable) enterprise performance. Strategic Management Journal,28(13), 1319–1350.
Teece, D. J., Pisano, G., & Shuen, A. (1997). Dynamic capabilities and strategic management. Strategic Management Journal,18(7), 509–533.
Tian, J. J., Haleblian, J. J., & Rajagopalan, N. (2011). The effects of board human and social capital on investor reactions to new CEO selection. Strategic Management Journal,32(7), 731–747.
Torchia, M., Calabrò, A., & Morner, M. (2015). Board of directors’ diversity, creativity, and cognitive conflict. International Studies of Management and Organization,45(1), 6–24.
van Ees, H., van der Laan, G., & Postma, T. J. B. M. (2008). Effective board behavior in the Netherlands. European Management Journal,26(2), 84–93.
Wang, C. L., & Ahmed, P. K. (2007). Dynamic capabilities: A review and research agenda. International Journal of Management Reviews,9(1), 31–51.
Wernerfelt, B. (1984). A resource-based view of the firm. Strategic Management Journal,5(2), 171–180.
Withers, M. C., & Fitza, M. A. (2016). Do board chairs matter? The influence of board chairs on firm performance. Strategic Management Journal, Early view in wiley online library.
Withers, M. C., Hillman, A. J., & Cannella, A. A. (2012). A multidisciplinary review of the director selection literature. Journal of Management,38(1), 243–277.
Zahra, S., Neubaum, D., & Huse, M. (2000). Entrepreneurship in medium-size companies: Exploring the effects of ownership and governance systems. Journal of Management,26(5), 947–976.
Zahra, S., & Pearce, J. A. (1990). Determinants of board directors’ strategic involvement. European Management Journal,8(2), 164–173.
Zahra, S., Sapienza, H. J., & Davidsson, P. (2006). Entrepreneurship and dynamic capabilities: A review, model and research agenda. Journal of Management Studies,43(4), 917–955.
Zattoni, A., Gnan, L., & Huse, M. (2015). Does family involvement influence firm performance? Exploring the mediating effects of board processes and tasks. Journal of Management,41(4), 1214–1243.
Zhang, P. (2010). Board information and strategic tasks performance. Corporate Governance: An International Review,18(5), 473–487.
Zhang, J. J., Baden-Fuller, C., & Pool, J. K. (2011). Resolving the tensions between monitoring, resourcing and strategizing: Structures and processes in high technology venture boards. Long Range Planning,44(2), 95–117.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Åberg, C., Shen, W. Can board leadership contribute to board dynamic managerial capabilities? An empirical exploration among Norwegian firms. J Manag Gov 24, 169–197 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10997-019-09460-6
- Board chair leadership
- Human capital
- Dynamic managerial capabilities
- Survey method
- Strategic leadership