Conclusion: Functions of the Group Board

The chief functions of the group board consist of: initiating (objectives), integrating (policies), and evaluating.

In carrying out its functions, the group board is supported by a number of small staff departments with highly qualified staff whose task it is to share the board's work in policy-making (but not to provide services for the companies). These staff departments cover (as necessary):

  • commercial matters – sales policy, market research
  • technical matters – product development policy and production allocation
  • economic and financial matters and internal accountancy
  • social matters – management development
  • communication policy, including information-processing policy
  • (possibly) legal matters, public relations, etc.

The four main tasks of the group board are:

  • strengthening and developing the commercial basis of the group
  • management development (development of the human resources in the group)
  • financing of commercial and technical developments
  • long-term development policy (internal and external)


  • If possible there should be collective management (but in times of extensive reorganization it can be desirable to have a chairman).
  • The top should be as small as possible in relation to the extent of the task.
  • There should be no “super” specialists at the top.
  • Three kinds of task can be distinguished:

    (a) A number of tasks are the joint responsibility of the whole board (see below).

    (b) Other tasks are the concern of a particular ...

Get Beyond Leadership: Balancing Economics, Ethics and Ecology, Revised Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.