Board Governance

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Method

Methodological Choices

Research Strategy

The two main methods when conducting a research paper, is to either use a quantitative study or a qualitative study. The most commonly used way to differentiate between the two is that the focus of them typically is numerically or non-numerically. The numerical is the quantitative study and is more focused on numbers (Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill, 2009). This method sometimes tends to make the researcher more distant from the subjects of the study, since a common data collection method is postal questionnaires or hired interview-ers. This fact can be seen as both beneficial and negative for the quantitative method, as the lack of connection with the research subjects occasionally is seen as beneficial since it decreases the possibility of bias. Quantitative researchers typically aim to generalize their results to the population that is relevant for the study, whereas qualitative researchers seek the understanding for behaviour and so forth in the setting of which the study is undertak-en (Bryman & Bell, 2011). A qualitative study can instead be done in order to receive a more comprehensive understanding of the CEOs opinions, mindset and thought-process when they implemented the board and subsequently recruited the board members. This re-search will have a qualitative research method constructed by semi-structured interviews. The reason for this is that the study is exploratory since previous research is limited in this field of study. The qualitative approach will therefore allow the authors to seek better un-derstanding for the behaviour involved in this type of decision, both in phase of data col-lection and further on the data analysis.

Research Approach

In western research there are two main and general approaches; the deductive approach and the inductive approach (Saunders et al., 2009). In addition to this is also the abductive approach that has gained importance (Kovács & Spens, 2005). The deductive approach build on researchers that formulates a hypothesis based on an existing theory, which they then scrutinize (Bryman & Bell, 2011). Deduction contains a number of significant charac-teristics, such as the search for the explanation of causal relationships amongst variables, the gathering of quantitative data (which does, however, not exclude the use of qualitative data) and the factor of generalization (Saunders et al., 2009).
The inductive approach is mainly a process where new theory is built and thereby is the outcome of research (Saunders et al., 2009; Hyde, 2000). This process begins with a set of observations in specific instances and thereafter seeks to establish a generalization concern-ing the phenomenon that is under study (Hyde, 2000). The development of the inductive approach came from social science researchers who became critical towards the approach that a cause-effect was created in between variables without gaining the understanding of how people interpreted the social surrounding. Research implementing the inductive ap-proach is more likely to place a larger emphasis on the context in which specific events are taking place. Due to this, it may be more appropriate to study a smaller, qualitative sample, than a large number of subjects (Saunders et al., 2009).
The inductive approach is the predominant approach that Eisenhardt (1989) proposed in her article concerning the creation of theory from case studies. In her study, Eisenhardt (1989) proposes that theory is built from case studies, by starting as close to the real-life ob-servations as possible and without initially considering theory associated with the field of study. In this approach there are also no hypotheses to test. When moving on to the phase of data collection, Eisenhardt (1989) states that researchers who are building theory typical-ly combines multiple methods for data collection. A feature that is present within theory-building research is the frequent occurrence of overlap between data analysis and data col-lection. Yin (2009) takes a more deductive approach to case study research. Yin (2009) rea-sons that it is beneficial to use literature in the start of the study to narrow the key topic and then move on to closely examine previous studies that are related to the interest in ques-tion. After relevant literature has been found and the key topic has been narrowed down, there is generally a need to develop propositions for the research. This is the typical ap-proach when the research is deductive, this does, however, not have to be the case if the case study is exploratory (Yin, 2009).
Based on this, both approaches proposed by both Yin (2009) and Eisenhardt (1989) will be present within this thesis. The deductive approach regarding that the findings will be exam-ined and analysed based on existing theory rather than developing new theories from the findings of the study. The inductive approach will be represented in the quest for under-standing why the situation is as it is.

Research Design

The case study is a research strategy that focuses on the understanding of the dynamics that exists within single settings (Eisenhardt, 1989). According to Yin (2009) case studies can be defined as being preferable over other research strategies when ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions are being investigated. It is also beneficial when the focus lies on contemporary events that the investigator has low or no control over, as well as having a real-life context (Yin, 2009). Since this thesis is based on a phenomenon from a real-life context and main focus lying on finding out ‘how’ the recruitment process of board members is addressed and ‘why’ the firms make these choices, the authors are convinced that the research fulfils the necessities for the case study approach implemented in this thesis.
This thesis uses an exploratory approach of case studies, and the reason for this is that there is currently little knowledge regarding the process of board member recruitment (Ei-senhardt, 1989; Yin, 2009). The case study used is designed after a multiple case study, in which multiple cases are used to investigate the same phenomenon (Yin, 2009; Yin, 2012). In order to analyse the findings from the multiple case study, the cross-case synthesis will be used as the preferred technique. This specific analysis technique treats each case study as a separate study, the findings are then aggregated over a series of individual studies (Yin, 2009). When conducting the interviews for the case studies the authors divided the roles so that one author handled the interview questions whilst the other author recorded the inter-view and made observations. This results in the interviewer gaining the perspective of per-sonal interaction with the respondent, while the other author maintains a different and more distant position (Eisenhardt, 1989). This can according to Eisenhardt (1989) increase the chance that the researchers view the case findings in different ways. With the help from Yin’s (2009; 2012) descriptions on how to design, preparing, collecting data and analysing case studies. The authors have gained valuable knowledge from this on how to design a well-designed case study.

1Introduction
1.1Family Firms
1.2Board of Directors
1.3Composition and Function of Boards
1.4Problem
1.5Purpose
1.6Research Questions
1.7Contributions
2Theoretical Framework
2.1Family Firms
2.2Theories
2.3The Composition of Boards
2.4Board Governance
2.5Board Recruitment Process
3Method
3.1Methodological Choices
3.2Research Design
3.3Selection of Cases and Data Collection
3.4Research Reliability and Validity
4Empirical Findings 
4.1Company Yellow ..
4.2Company Green
4.3Company Blue .
4.4Company Red
5Analysis 
5.1Board Composition
5.2Board Governance
5.3Board Recruitment Process
5.4Stewardship Theory and Agency Theory
6Conclusion 
7Discussion
7.1Contributions
7.2Limitations
7.3Further Research
References
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Boards in Family Firms Board Member Choices and Recruitment

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