The role of the board of directors in firm strategy has long been the subject of debate. However, research efforts have suffered from several deficiencies: the lack of an overarching theoretical perspective, reliance on proxies for the strategy role rather than a direct measure of it and the lack of quantitative data linking this role to firm financial performance. We propose a new theoretical perspective to explain the board's role in strategy, integrating organisational control and agency theories. We categorise a board's approach to strategy according to two constructs: strategic control and financial control. The extent to which either construct is favoured depends on contextual factors such as board power, environmental uncertainty and information asymmetry. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2004.
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