Title: Inside the boardroom of born globals

Authors: Carl Arthur Solberg; Trine Bretteville

Addresses: BI Norwegian Business School, NO-0442 Oslo, Norway. ' Viseno, Kristian Augusts Gate 7B, 0164 Oslo, Norway

Abstract: This study addresses the roles of the board of directors and explores the relationships between the founder(s) and investors over the life cycle of the born global. More specifically, we posit that different interests between the founder and professional investors make the BG particularly vulnerable to faulty processes within the board. These issues are explored in three Norwegian BGs with different risk and ownership profiles. We find that: 1) conflicts are much more rife in fast growing BGs with external investors; 2) family and friends of the founder represent 'patient capital'; 3) agency problems are less prevalent than in 'ordinary firms'; 4) board members without concrete knowledge of the business of the BG firm are prone to play a lesser role in the strategic decision making process.

Keywords: born global; board members; company founders; relationships; competence; agency problems; boardrooms; company directors; life cycles; faulty processes; company boards; Norway; risk profiles; ownership profiles; conflicts; external investors; families; friends; patient capital; business knowledge; decision making; strategic decisions; Nebb Engineering; Voss Water; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; entrepreneurs; international entrepreneurship; internationalisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2012.045202

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2012 Vol.15 No.2, pp.154 - 170

Available online: 31 Jan 2012 *

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