More than half of board directors around the world believe there is a gap between the expectations of a board and directors’ ability to oversee a company.
According to a statement from researchers, board members are responding to the gap by investing more time in preparation and looking for information.
The survey—carried out by academics at Harvard Business School, Spencer Stuart, the Women Corporate Directors Foundation and researcher Deborah Bell—questioned 4,000 directors in 60 countries and found 60% believe that there is an expectations gap.
“Directors themselves may be more qualified than ever, but they are facing higher expectations than ever,” said Julie Hembrock Daum, head of Spencer Stuart’s North American Board Practice.
“These expectations are coming from multiple stakeholders—investors, consumers, regulatory bodies, the media—in a climate of unprecedented demands for transparency and accountability.
“We see directors seeking to stay ahead of these demands and devoting more time to board prep and information gathering.”
The WCD found that of those who perceive a gap, 25% believe expectations “far” exceed reality. In other findings, the WCD stated that two-thirds of directors said strategy skills were among the most important, but of those, only a third said strategy was among the skills their boards most desired.