Boards Of Advisors In Small Businesses: An Empirical Profile Of Their Composition And Use

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Michael D. Akers
Don E. Giacomino



This article discusses the literature coverage on Boards of Advisors to date and provides the results of a study designed to determine the formation and composition of Boards of Advisors and the ways in which small businesses use such boards.  Our study surveyed the Chief Executive Officers or Presidents of a large sample of small businesses.  We found that there is very limited use of Boards of Advisors in small businesses and that many small business managers are not aware of the concept of a Board of Advisors.  However, those small business managers (97%) that use a Board of Advisors characterize their interaction with their Boards of Advisors as good or excellent. When selecting board members, the responding executives seek practical experience, good “common sense” and industry experience as the most important types of expertise.  Most board members were male (67%), active in business (90%), have managerial/strategy or law (52%) and are not compensated (53%). 


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