Collette Kirwan

Collette Kirwan

PhD Thesis Title: Role conflict and non-executive directors on boards of unlisted family firms

Supervisor: Professor Niamh Brennan

External Examiners:
Professor Terry McNulty, Professor of Management and Corporate Governance University of Liverpool
Professor Gavin Nicholson, Associate Professor Queensland University of Technology


Collette’s study contributes to our understanding of non-executive directors’ (NEDs’) role on boards of private family firms. Informed by role theory, the study examines the antecedents that influence NEDs’ role execution and role effectiveness. Using a qualitative approach, deep insights into the critical contingencies of NEDs’ role expectations and role motivations are provided. Moreover, additional important contingencies that influence NEDs’ role execution are revealed, including the influence of the contextual nuances unique to private family firms. Collectively, the contingencies examined in the study deepen our understanding of NEDs’ role execution and effectiveness on boards of private family firms. Given the global economic importance of family firms, understanding their governance environment has important practical implications.

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