Blind Spots, Biases, and Other Pathologies in the Boardroom


In this book we show how seemingly ideal boards, those with “best practice” size, composition, and structure, can still fail to provide good governance simply because they fall victim to problems inherent in all groups. While having groups of board members provide corporate oversight is probably necessary, and even advantageous in some respects, groups have a dark side too.In this book we argue that as a first step it is important to recognize these group dynamics and the problems they cause. Some of them can be minimized through, for example, properly designed decision processes. Others are more complicated. But all of them need to be recognized and understood so that we can properly shape our expectations of the degree and quality of oversight corporate boards of directors can provide, and so that we can turn our energy toward the many group level factors that could improve board performance going forward.


About the Author(s)

Kenneth A. Merchant

Ken Merchant, holder of the Deloitte & Touche LLP Chair of Accoutancy at the University of Southern California, has been doing performance measurement-related research for over 30 years. He has author…

Katharina Pick

Katharina Pick has been engaged in research on corporate boards since 1998. She has interviewed over 100 directors, written seven Harvard Business School (HBS) case studies on corporate governance, pr…

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Pub Date

June 24, 2010





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