CLUSTER I: Board of Directors Structure and Governance

This research cluster focus on the impact of board composition, board role, disclosure policies, and accountability on corporate financial performance. Specific topics of interest include:

  • Patterns of director tenure; impact on corporate performance by sector and size
  • Separate CEO and chair positions
  • Existence of a lead director
  • Board committee structures
  • Board composition
  • Degree of diversification and capital intensity
  • Inside vs. independent director composition

CLUSTER II: Top Management Teams

Research in this cluster focuses on top management team (TMT) design and TMT characteristics shown to be aligned with corporate performance. Topics include:

  • The disappearing COO
  • Strong vs. weak COOs
  • CFO power and role
  • Profit center vs. functional organizational structure: impact on corporate performance
  • C-Suite compensation distribution and membership, e.g., CEO, COO, general counsel, CHR officer, etc.

CLUSTER III: Human Capital Management and Incentives

The focus of this research cluster is on understanding the impact human capital assets and policies on firm performance.

  • Link human capital data and policies to corporate performance via a Human Capital Index.
  • Examine incentive compensation characteristics in terms of structure, design, timing and metrics for alignment with governance and value creation.
  • Assess the impact of the role, rank and importance of a Chief Talent Officer and/or Chief Human Resources Officer on design and disclosure of HR practices and initiatives, as well as business performance.

CLUSTER IV: Drivers and Measures of High Performance

In this cluster, the research focuses on assessing human capital and other characteristics contributing to persistent high levels of firm performance.

  • “High Performing” Firms—Frequency of appearance in Top 100 (of the S&P 1,500) by various outcome metrics
  • Comparisons of various commonly-used performance metrics as predictors of future performance
  • Development of new performance metrics, such as an ‘improved’ Tobin’s Q