In this book we argue that as a first step it is important to recognize these group dynamics and the problems they cause. Some of them can be minimized through, for example, properly designed decision processes. Others are more complicated. But all of them need to be recognized and understood so that we can properly shape our expectations of the degree and quality of oversight corporate boards of directors can provide, and so that we can turn our energy toward the many group level factors that could improve board performance going forward.
Ken Merchant, holder of the Deloitte & Touche LLP Chair of Accoutancy at the University of Southern California, has been doing performance measurement-related research for over 30 years. He has authored eight books, including Management Control Systems: Performance Measurement, Evaluation and Incentives (published by Pearson/Financial times), scores of articles, and over 100 teaching cases on the topic. Professor Merchant has won multiple research awards. He serves on 11 academic editorial boards. Katharina Pick has been engaged in research on corporate boards since 1998. She has interviewed over 100 directors, written seven Harvard Business School (HBS) case studies on corporate governance, provided fieldwork for two books on boards (Back to the Drawing Board, Carter and Lorsch 2004; Building Better Boards, Nadler, Behan, and Nadler 2005), and conducted two original qualitative research studies on boards for her PhD work.