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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Opening the 'black box': what does observational research reveal about processes and practices of governing?

Watson, Cate, Husband, Gary and Ireland, Aileen (2020) Opening the 'black box': what does observational research reveal about processes and practices of governing? Journal of Management and Governance, 25. pp. 189-221. ISSN 1572-963X

Item Type: Article


Despite several decades of research on governance, very little is known about processes and practices of governing and, crucially, the links between governing and organisational performance. This has led to calls to penetrate the ‘black box’ of the boardroom by conducting research which draws on data gathered through direct observation. Such calls, however, have so far produced a rather sparse and inchoate literature which would benefit from review in order to give shape to the field and provide direction for future research. Here, we critically examine the findings of this research, in particular focusing on three emergent themes: (1) the extent to which empirical research supports the established theories in the field, particularly agency and stewardship theories; (2) what research says about ‘good’ and ‘effective’ governance and the relationship between them; and (3) the methodological and conceptual orientations which frame this research, in particular the claims made for ‘processual’ approaches. We conclude with an agenda for taking the field forward in order to extend knowledge and to contribute to theory around governing.

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Depositing User: Gary Husband


Item ID: 15363
Identification Number:
ISSN: 1572-963X
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Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Gary Husband: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2022 09:42
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2022 09:42


Author: Gary Husband ORCID iD
Author: Cate Watson
Author: Aileen Ireland

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society


Education > Further Education

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