Posts By / dnordberg

Route to a prize is a prize itself – Melissa Carr at AoM

Melissa Carr, senior lecturer in leadership development in the Business School, has been nominated for best paper from a doctoral dissertation at this year’s conference of the Academy of Management. This nomination is as good as winning a lot of other prizes, I assured her. In business and management, the AoM conference is the largest – and nonetheless one of the most difficult to get into. Melissa has had two papers accepted this year.

One of those, “Moments of Discomfort: Poststructuralist Reflexivity and Researcher Subjectivity,” has been put forward for the 2021 William H. Newman Award. Each AoM division nominates one paper. The conference usually attracts more than 10,000 scholars. Participants will hear hundreds and perhaps thousands of papers based on doctoral work, and each division is likely to have dozens from which to pick. They picked hers.

Having read her thesis, which earned her a PhD from Cranfield University, I know it’s a good one. Congratulations!

Donald Nordberg, Associate Professor

‘Defying categorisation’

Donald Nordberg

During the other half of his time in semi-retirement, Donald Nordberg, Associate Professor in the Business School, is revisiting themes from his early university education in English and comparative literature. A first product has emerged: New Writing, a Routledge/Taylor & Francis journal, has accepted his paper “Category choice in creative writing“. Fiction is a uniquely flexible form of writing, he writes, but the publishing world wants to drop works of fiction into buckets, which often come in pairs. The paper examines three such dichotomies. Writing coaches want to know: Is the work plot-driven or character-driven? Publishers, booksellers and popular critics ask: Is it genre or literary? Academic analysis wonders: Is it philosophical or psychological?

     Using perspectives on heuristics and biases drawn from psychology and decision analysis, Nordberg examines similarities between these category pairs and shows how the distinctions blur, both in literary criticism and through empirical studies of reader responses. He suggests that by paying attention to the anchor-points in heuristics, writers can bend publishing imperatives and help works of fiction retain the ability to defy categorisation.

New corporate governance book by BU scholar published

Associate Professor Donald Nordberg has published a new book, The Cadbury Code and Recurrent Crisis: A Model for Corporate Governance? (Palgrave Macmillan). It’s a critical examination of the origins of the UK code of corporate governance and how the code developed – and failed to develop – through repeated crises in corporate governance.

The 1992 Cadbury Code was a watershed in corporate governance, and not just in the UK. It influenced practice in many countries around the world, as well as the practices of many types of organisation outside the sphere of corporations listed on stock markets.

Reviewing the book, Andrew Johnstone, professor of company law at the University of Warwick, said: “This is a fascinating book, tracing the development of the UK Corporate Governance Code and highlighting its continuity through successive crises. At the same time, it identifies areas of controversy and challenge, intriguingly suggesting that ‘defeated logics’ are merely suspended, perhaps poised to return. Essential interdisciplinary reading for all those interested in the UK’s corporate governance system.”

Business school student-staff co-creation paper to be published in IJDG

Rebecca Booth (MSc, BU) and Associate Professor Donald Nordberg have produced another publication from work arising from Booth’s dissertation from the corporate governance programme taught on Guernsey. The International Journal of Disclosure and Governance (Palgrave) has accepted their qualitative study “Self or other: Directors’ attitudes towards policy initiatives for external board evaluation”, doi: 10.1057/s41310-020-00094-x. This is the second journal article to emerge from the study. In addition, the pair wrote a technical report last year for the New York-based think-tank The Conference Board Inc. and contributed to a consultation run by the UK Financial Reporting Council about the corporate governance code. The study’s insights also featured in a report published in 2019 by Minerva Analytics, a firm specialising in proxy voting research across Europe.

BU scholars’ paper, ‘Mirror, Mirror’, reflects well in Leadership

The journal Leadership has published the paper “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Shifting Leader-Follower Power Dynamics in a Social Media Context“.

Congratulations to the Faculty of Management team: Parisa Gilani (Department of People & Organisations), Elvira Bolat (Marketing, Strategy & Innovation), and Donald Nordberg (Accounting, Finance & Economics), as well as alumna Claudia Wilkin.

It’s a case of staff-student co-creation that also integrates themes across the business and management disciplines.

Nordberg appointed to editorial board of leading corporate governance journal

Donald Nordberg, associate professor in the Faculty of Management, has been invited to join the editorial board of Corporate Governance: An International Review​, widely regarded as the top journal in its interdisciplinary area. Published by Wiley, CGIR has an SJR H-index of 62. In JCR listings based on 2017 data, it ranked 60th of 210 journals in Management, 50th of 140 journals in Business, and 11th of 98 journals in Finance.

Oxford Business Law Blog invites commentary from BU’s Donald Nordberg

The University of Oxford’s Faculty of Law invited Donald Nordberg, Associate Professor in the BU Faculty of Management, to contribute a commentary to the widely read Oxford Business Law Blog. The piece is an essay concerning the creation of the Cadbury Code on corporate governance 25 years ago, and its subsequent revisions, and then pointing to questions about its continuing validity in the wake of the global financial crisis and changes in the investment landscape. The essay summarises his working paper, posted on Social Sciences Research Network, which reviews the nature of the debate over one key and recurrent issue: whether the UK should adopt something like the two-tier boards of directors common across continental Europe.

‘How boards strategize’ explored in new student-staff study

Marg Concannon

The strategy work of boards of directors has been a puzzle in the corporate governance literature for a long time. But the picture is becoming clearer, thanks to a paper soon to be published and co-written by a Master’s graduate and staff member in the Faculty of Management at BU.

After the financial crisis the work of boards became especially pertinent, for companies and public policy. Some boards — think of Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS — manifestly failed both in strategizing  and in monitoring the performance of managers. The shortcomings contributed to a long, global economic malaise. Margaret Concannon earned an MSc in Corporate Governance with Distinction at BU in 2015 with a dissertation that examined how the work of boards has changed. Now, writing with Donald Nordberg, Associate Professor of Strategy and Corporate Governance, her study has become a journal article, due to appear soon in European Management Journal.

Donald Nordberg

Their paper, “Boards strategizing in liminal spaces: Process and practice, formal and informal,” shows how the theory of liminality, developed in anthropology to study rites of passage and adapted in organisation studies, can explain how, after the crisis, the increasingly hierarchical nature of the monitoring work of boards has pushed often strategy off the formal agenda. But strategizing has emerged again in new, informal settings and spaces, where the creativity possible in liminality can reassert itself. The paper explores what benefits that brings — and what risks.

Contesting corporate governance – research at BU

Prime Minister Theresa May has recently mooted a Germanic-turn for corporate governance in the UK, an echo of a heated debate over the shape of boards of directors in listed companies raging over the past 25 years. By coincidence, BU’s Donald Nordberg, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Management, has been examining the controversies over board design since the Cadbury Code was written in 1992, as investors, corporate chairmen and others wrestled with whether to recommend continuing with unitary boards or follow the German model of dual boards with worker representation. His paper, “Contestation over board design and the development of UK corporate governance,” has just won the prize as Best Paper in Management and Business History at the British Academy of Management conference in Newcastle. Could history be about to repeat itself? The conference paper is at

Faculty of Management research seminar series resumes with talk on accounting, rhinoceroses and sustainability

Professor Jill Atkins of Henley Business School at the University of Reading will speak to the first of a new series of staff research seminars organized in the Faculty of Management on Wednesday, October 14, at 15:00 at Bournemouth House, BG14. Her topic, “Exploring rhinoceros conservation and conversation: The emergence of emancipatory accounting for ‘extinction’,” links problems of sustainability of natural resources with theoretical developments that seek to take better account of the environment.
On October 21 (also 15:00 in BG14) the research seminar series, organised by Drs. George Filis and Christos Apostolakis, will hear a paper drawing on identity theory from Dr. Caroline Rock of Anglia Ruskin University concerning “Authenticity in the Workplace”.
Starting on October 28 the seminar series will link with a new season of the discussion forum for postgraduate researchers and staff. That week the PhD forum (now on Wednesdays at 14:00) in BG14 will hear from its organiser, Dr. Fabian Homberg, on “‘Conversations’ and expectations, literature searches and open questions”. Then at 15:00 Dr. Davide Parrilli, newly recruited as Associate Professor in the business school, will speak on “STI and DUI Innovation Modes: Scientific-Technological and Context-specific Nuances” – exploring the differences between science-led and use-led innovation.
Please join us. Both series are open to everyone interested in the research, across all faculties.