All on board? Supervisory boards in transiton. A study on supervisory boards regarding Digital Transformation

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In the Netherlands, internal governance is to be executed by supervisory boards provisioning interests for the organization they serve, and the interest of all stakeholders involved. Nowadays, the digital transformation brings complexity and adds new challenges to the supervisory boardroom. Supervisory boards need to go along with external developments in order to understand the effects for the organization they supervise. Firstly, I conducted a document analysis in order to explore if and how supervisory boards are aware and informed about the digital transformation and its implications. Secondly, I conducted 16 interviews with supervisory boards and experts to study different theoretical perspectives held regarding the role supervisory boards fulfill for certain internal and external stakeholder groups. Findings indicate that supervisory boards are aware on the presence of the digital transformation but simultaneously struggle in creating a clear contextual perspective for the organization they serve. Subsequently, data shows that most supervisory boards use an stewardship perspective over agency elements. Despite some solely internal and external perspectives, supervisory boards serve their organization from both internal and external coalition perspectives. This study, besides it contributed to the literature, provided several insights and recommendations on Dutch internal governance with regard to the digital transformation.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen