טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
Ph.D Thesis
Ph.D StudentBen Oz Chanan
SubjectThe Learning Board of Directors: Its Strategic Involvement
and knowledge Management in Dynamic Environments
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisors Mr. Avi Fiegenbaum (Deceased)
Professor Henrich Greve
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

This PhD thesis extends the theoretical foundations and empirical examination of performance feedback theory and utilizes this theory to advance strategic management theories related to the board of directors and to its knowledge management processes by raising and answering three research questions as follows.

First, the theoretical foundations of performance feedback have been extended twofold: a new construct of performance feedback gaps has been developed and new internal and external contingencies have been considered (board of directors and environment condition respectively). We also discuss CEO dismissal as an important strategic decision that is purely dependent on how the boards of directors interpret performance feedback gaps. The next two research questions are based on field research and required collection of interviews and questionnaires from over 250 board members who represent over 130 organizations.

Second, we have addressed the issue of board strategic involvement which is frequently discussed among public and business policy makers as well as the academic community. The current theories of upper echelon and agency have been reviewed and empirically examined. However, the major contribution is the adaptation of a new theoretical lens to board research; namely, board learning from performance feedback gaps and its ability to explain their strategic involvement more then the current theories as revealed in the empirical findings.

Third, a major concern of the strategy literature, namely, how to enhance the external-internal processes of knowledge management has been emphasized. We apply and advance the theory of absorptive capacity (ACAP) and promote three theoretical contributions: introduction of new ACAP activation trigger in addition to the current environmental and organizational focuses - performance feedback gap; emphasis on the importance of investigating the construct using the unit of analysis of the board rather than the entire organization; and focus on the process management, rather than its outcome, emphasizing stages of external knowledge acquisition, assimilation, transformation, and exploitation that represent the role of potential and realized ACAP. Those theory developments together with the empirical findings indicate that there is a differential learning mechanism of performance feedback gaps by using short and long performance feedback gaps and that the environmental dynamism moderates the impact of this learning.