A Critical Evaluation of the Added Value of Boards of Directors Through a Multiple Agency Theory Lens. Empirical Evidence of English and Belgian Listed Companies


Coventry University




Dr Alessandro Merendino

Prof. Gerrit Sarens (Université catholique de Louvain (BE)

Project objectives

The present research aims to critically analyse the added value of boards of directors of British and Belgian listed companies, by looking at factors influencing their behaviour and contribution inside and outside the boardroom thereby adopting a new theoretical approach, i.e. multiple agency theory.

The project aims to answer the following:

  • Do directors’ add real value to management and their company?
  • Are there any mechanisms that ‘control the controller’ (i.e. the board of directors), and if so, how do they work?

Impact statement

The research forms a cornerstone of collaboration between two global academic institutions; Coventry University (UK) and Université catholique de Louvain (BE). The project will develop and expand international and current topics that are fundamental to deeper study and analysis of corporate governance; the framework in which all companies act.

By focusing on and comparing the board of directors of both English and Belgian listed companies the project will:

  • Further develop the new theoretical framework, i.e. multiple agency theory
  • Answer the call for further research in order to build an understanding of the real functioning of boards of directors, going beyond the overwhelming agency theory
  • Provide better understand the complexity of the board of directors’ mechanisms and internal processes
  • Provide ‘best practices’ to share with professionals, policymakers and directors.

The collaboration will also lead to at least two scientific papers that will be presented at international conferences, and submitted to two top rank scientific journals.

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