Introduction

In a recent conversation with the new CEO of a large U.S. global consumer-products company, I was surprised when she found it curious that I, as an alleged authority on boards of directors, was also a professor of human relations. Her comment caused me to reflect on how this came to be in an arena in which so much of the debate is about financial and legal matters. A possible explanation could be that I was derelict or lazy in not asking the powers that be at Harvard for a more appropriate title when I became interested in corporate boards twenty-five years ago. After a bit of reflection, however, I realized that what may seem a contradiction to some is really quite consistent with the way I and many of my colleagues in the Harvard ...

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