Ian Kirkpatrick, Francesco Vallascas, Gianluca Veronesi, Business Experts on Public Sector Boards: What Do They Contribute?

Ian Kirkpatrick, Francesco Vallascas, Gianluca Veronesi, Business Experts on Public Sector Boards: What Do They Contribute?, Public Administration Review

Abstract

Although public management reforms around the world have given business experts an enhanced role in the governance of public sector organizations, the impact of this change is poorly understood. Drawing from the literature on board human capital as a theoretical framework and focusing on the case of hospital boards in the English National Health Service, this concern is addressed by investigating whether increasing the presence of individuals with business expertise has any significant relationship with organizational performance. The findings show that while business expertise appears to have no influence on service quality, it does have a positive effect on financial performance. However, this only applies to governing boards that are less experienced in terms of their collective tenure. The findings lend partial support to board capital theory but also show that in certain conditions generic business expertise can be a valuable asset for public sector organizations.

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