In sum, expert-heavy boards navigate familiar routes well enough but have an increased tendency to go awry once off the beaten track, the paper concludes from data involving more than 1,300 U.S. community banks over a period of 17 years. In the words of the study, “Despite the perception that the value of domain experts comes from their ability to manage uncertainty…ironically, it is precisely under conditions of uncertainty that a higher proportion of domain experts is associated with organizational mortality.” What accounts for this? Based on interviews with banking executives and findings of other researchers, the paper’s authors, Juan Almandoz of IESE Business School in Spain and András Tilcsik of the University of Toronto, cite three factors that compromise experts’ effectiveness in addressing new or challenging circumstances. One is what they call “cognitive entrenchment,” a lack of flexibility in responding to unfamiliar situations. A second is overconfidence, a characteristic that prior research has uncovered in experts as varied as physicists, psychologists, and CIA analysts. The third is “reduced task conflict,” excessive deference of non-experts toward a cluster of industry-savvy board colleagues, the experts’ flaws in judgment notwithstanding.