Boards of public sector organizations: a typology with Dutch illustrations

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- Purpose – The purpose of this study is to present two heuristics for researchers to identify different types of boards in public sector organziations, and thus enable exchange of research findings and comparative research. - Design/methodology/approach - Based on existing knowledge, two typologies are presented. The first typology discerns four archetypes of boards, and the second typology distinguishes six board roles. The use of these typologies is briefly illustrated with findings on supervisory board in Dutch ZBOs. - Findings – Application of the two heuristics is possible and should preferably been done in combination as formal competencies and actual practices of boards do not always coincide. In the Dutch case, boards take on more than one role often exceeding their formal position. On the other hand, examples can be found where boards are overruled and stripped from their formal powers. Combining the two heuristics renders more comprehensive insight into what boards are and do. - Originality/value – The two heuristics show that there are different types of boards. Researchers can use these to carry out comparative research. Practitioners and policy makers can use them, for example, when designing appropriate governance structures in public sector organizations or applying international guidelines to specific types of boards and organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-334
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Public Sector Management
Issue number4/5
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


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