Title: Effective governance for start-up companies: regarding the board as a strategic resource

Authors: Coral B. Ingley, Kevin McCaffrey

Addresses: Faculty of Business, AUT University, Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1020, New Zealand. ' Effective Governance, 42 Cliff Road, Torbay, Auckland 0630, New Zealand

Abstract: Start-up organisations are small companies that experience a high level of growth and considerable risk to their very survival until they evolve into stable, established companies. This situation presents a particular set of challenges in terms of corporate governance, yet research on the governance of start-ups is limited. This research paper examines and comments on the governance of start-up organisations in New Zealand. The study replicates and extends previous New Zealand-based research of boards of established companies. From the data gathered from the two surveys, conclusions can be drawn as to the role and focus of boards in start-ups versus established companies. The results are consistent with a model of active ownership which identifies key differences from established companies that could improve the governance of start-ups. The results also highlight the dependence of what might constitute effective corporate governance for a start-up on the strategic context of the company and its life cycle stage.

Keywords: governance models; established companies; start-ups; active ownership; strategy; moral context; corporate entrepreneurship; Icarus Paradox; business governance; New Zealand.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBGE.2007.014319

International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 2007 Vol.3 No.3, pp.308 - 329

Published online: 01 Jul 2007 *

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