Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Faculty of Business and Law


School of Management




This article was originally published as: Bambach, M. D. (2012). Where has the strategic thinking gone in the non-profit board room?. Proceedings of Australian and New Zealand Academey of Managent. (pp. 12). Perth. Original article available here


As a practitioner working closely with independent school boards the researcher observed that many boards of small to medium sized independent schools were operationally focussed to the detriment of strategic thinking. Much of the literature on board governance effectiveness stresses the importance of strategic thinking, yet some empirical studies suggest not all non-profit boards are strong in this area. Research however is limited, especially in the independent school sector. This paper therefore presents an empirical study of the extent of strategic thinking in seven independent school boards. The study reveals an alarming picture as to the extent their strategic thinking. This paper begins by initially setting the scene, highlighting the importance of strategic thinking in the relevant literature before presenting the study and its findings. The reality revealed in these case studies serves as a wake-up call to all non-profit boards. Unless a non-profit board thinks strategically, it will never maximise its governance effectiveness.

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