Board Composition, Board Roles and Behavioral Integration in High-tech Start-ups: A Case Study of the Norwegian Renewable Energy Sector
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This study has examined how the board operates in order to facilitate for the development and success of the clean-tech start-up. Specifically the study has examined several aspects and characteristics of boards to determine which factors contribute towards creating an efficient board that best facilitates for the growth of its company.Through an in-depth analysis of five case firms, several key insights regarding boards in clean-tech ventures have been uncovered. The main constructs examined were the composition of the board, the engagement of the board into different board roles as well as the behavioral integration of the board. The case study has revealed that these constructs were all important determinants of the contribution of the board towards the growth and success of the clean-tech firm.Boards in clean-tech start-ups favor engagement in the service role, and this is also the role that has the strongest influence on the firm's strategic action capabilities. As the firm develops, the control role takes on a larger part of the focus of the board, due both to reduced effect of performing the service role and to pressure from shareholders. The behavioral integration of the board acts as a moderator of the contribution a firm can expect from its board. That means the more the board is integrated behaviorally the more it will be able to influence the firm. While boards can have an immense effect on the development of a young firm, clean-tech start-ups also need to be cautious about not becoming dependent on their boards. Firms that to an excessive degree rely on their boards' network to reach out to potential partners and investors develop lower strategic capabilities and growth.