The art of untangling: High North SME board directors' challenges in understanding strategy, control, and service tasks
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBarents Studies. 2019, 6 (1), 16-37.
Boards of directors represent an important, but understudied, resource for business development of High North SMEs. We studied board director perceptions of what constitutes the most important board tasks and which activities each major task actually involved. We followed a local board development project with participants from several industries and companies in Northern Norway over a two-year period, collecting data through observation, surveys, and documents. Tis study identifes two challenges of the contribution of board directors to business development: (1) board directors had only a vague understanding of strategy and service tasks, and (2) there was a mismatch between what SME boards need (strategy) and what board directors seemed to focus on (control). Tis implies that board directors in High North SMEs may have an unrealized potential for contributing to business development. Development of board competence seems vital to fulfl this potential.