And then there were none: Political settlements of insider board membership

John Joseph*, William Ocasio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


This study advances a view of the firm as a political coalition by theorizing and testing hypotheses on how political settlements among board factions regarding board independence shapes insider participation on the board. We suggest that insider board participation is determined not only by the conflict among elites, but also by their ability to establish tacit agreement. The idea of settlement is important because it provides a window to understanding the processes of restrained partisanship and stability at the top of U.S. corporations. We contribute to the theoretical body of work on coalitions, boards and settlements by considering the role of three distinct coalitions - CEOs, insiders and outsiders - and the effects of critical events, formal roles and informal power across on the creation and maintenance of board structural arrangements. We study an unexplored structural form and build on the nascent body of empirical work on settlements by offering a quantitative analysis boards characterized by a single inside director - the CEO. We find that CEO succession, formal authority derived from insider board roles and informal power of both outsiders and insiders impact the settlements and the adoption of a CEO-only insider structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management 2005 Annual Meeting
Subtitle of host publicationA New Vision of Management in the 21st Century, AOM 2005
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005
Event65th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2005 - Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: Aug 5 2005Aug 10 2005


Other65th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2005
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityHonolulu, HI


  • Boards
  • Power
  • Settlements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems and Management


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