Making the governance of public bodies work: chair-chief executive relationships in practice

Heald, D. and Steel, D. (2015) Making the governance of public bodies work: chair-chief executive relationships in practice. Public Money and Management, 35(4), pp. 257-264. (doi: 10.1080/09540962.2015.1047266)

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The importation, over the past 30 years, of private sector governance mechanisms into public sector bodies at arm's-length from government has brought greater focus on the relationship of part-time non-executive chairs and full-time chief executives. This paper explores this relationship in 14 UK public bodies, based on in-depth interviews with chairs, chief executives and, as triangulation, audit committee chairs. The findings concern the negotiated differentiation of roles; the effects of the chief executive's separate authority as accounting officer on internal governance; the management of external stakeholders; and how crises can affect roles and relationships. Improved processes of training and mentoring are proposed.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The authors gratefully acknowledge a grant from the British Academy (SG10591) and an award from the University of Aberdeen Knowledge Exchange and Transfer Fund.
Keywords:Public sector corporate governance, Chair-Chief Executive relationships, Accounting Officer, public bodies, quangos, HB Economic Theory
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Heald, Professor David
Authors: Heald, D., and Steel, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Accounting and Finance
Journal Name:Public Money and Management
ISSN (Online):1467-9302

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