Governance in the Public Sector: the Involvement of the Board

Catherine Farrell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Governing boards are a prominent feature of many public sector organizations today. These boards have been modelled on the private sector board of directors. Like company boards, one of their main functions is to provide strategic leadership and policy direction for the organization. The role of managers and chief executives is to implement this. This paper examines the extent of involvement of one public sector board, the school governing body, in strategic activity. Using empirical evidence from a number of semi-structured interviews conducted in schools, its findings indicate that governing bodies are not involved at a high level in strategy within schools. Rather, headteachers are more likely to be undertaking this activity. Reflections are made about the relevance of the ‘board of directors’ model for both governing bodies and the public sector more generally.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)89-110
    JournalPublic Administration
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


    • public boards
    • governing boards
    • public sector
    • school governing body


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