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Exploring director recruitment. What characteristics constitute an appointable candidate?

  • We investigate how professional recruiters perceive and assess potential board director candidates. Based on a human capital perspective, individual characteristics will represent certain human capital resources, perceived as more or less useful for the firm. We focus on what characteristics are critical for a candidate to be perceived as appointable to a board. We are particularly interested in the role visible vs. more hidden aspects of human capital in these assessments. The aim of the study is to uncover central actors’ ideas and assumptions of what constitutes the ideal board director. This will add knowledge as to how board compositions are created and changed. We conducted eight semi-structured, in-depth interviews with professional recruiters in Germany and Norway. The results show that formal competence is partly downplayed as selection criteria for board positions, while experience has a central role. Further, our results show that experiences have both a concrete and a symbolic side, where certain individual characteristics appear to represent an image of a successful director of a board. Further, our data show that symbolic capital, labeled “habitus”, is a crucial prerequisite for an individual to be appraised as an ideal candidate. The results indicate preferences for stability and predictability in recruitment processes, which may contribute to explain the persistently low proportion of women on corporate boards.

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Author:Gro Ladegard, Katrin Hansen, Andrea D. Bührmann
Parent Title (English):Governance in Action Globally. Strategy Process and Reality
Publisher:RossiSmith Academic Publications
Place of publication:Oxford
Document Type:Part of a Book
Date of Publication (online):2018/07/02
Year of first Publication:2014
Publishing Institution:Westfälische Hochschule Gelsenkirchen Bocholt Recklinghausen
Release Date:2018/07/02
First Page:177
Last Page:200
Departments / faculties:Fachbereiche / Wirtschaft und Informationstechnik Bocholt
Licence (German):License LogoEs gilt das Urheberrechtsgesetz

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