Under the label “governance,” boards of directors have been getting a good deal of attention in recent years. This may be more than they deserve because there is often more status than substance in what boards do. Boards have several useful service roles to play in organizations, but only one—rather limited—of real consequence, about control. Among the beneficial services that board members can provide, those with wide experience can offer advice to the management, or simply be there as sounding boards. Directors who are well connected can help raise funds for the organization. And the very presence of influential people on the board can enhance the reputation of an organization as well as connect it to important centers of power.
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