Future Orientation of Supervisory Boards

  • König, M. (Contributor)
  • Michael Ludescher (Contributor)

Activity: Talk or presentationScience to science


Our research project focuses on the role of supervisory board members and non-executive directors of listed companies in enabling and safeguarding the future orientation of the firm. Rohrbeck and Kum (2018) established that vigilant listed companies employing structured foresight enjoy sustainable competitive advantage leading to better financial performance. They provide strong evidence that the diligent use of foresight practices can put an enterprise in a comparably better position. Consequently, organizational architecture and managerial attention shall be directed towards implementing a sound foresight culture within the firm. Current literature, however, mainly addresses these issues from the perspective of the executive board, i.e. the role of the CEO, the need for increasing awareness for alternative futures, as well as the reasonable composition of foresight tools and systems. Referring to Rohrbeck and Kum’s seminal findings, we want to shed light on an area that hitherto seems to be under-researched: the role of the supervisory board. Supervisory boards of listed companies usually appoint and recall the CEO and other board members and are crucial in monitoring the governance and performance output of those executives. We discuss their somewhat tricky role as enablers and promoters of the future orientation of the firm without intervening too much in the daily and operative role of the CEO and other active board members. We also question how they shall ensure that personnel changes in the executive board do not have pejorative effects on existing foresight practices, which might in the worst-case lead to feral futures. Finally, we propose a renewed futures literacy skillset imperative for supervisory board members of stock-exchange listed companies in TUNA (i.e. turbulent, uncertain, novel and ambiguous) environments.
Period10 Dec 201811 Dec 2018
Event titleScenario Planning and Foresight 2018: Advancing Theory and improving Practice, Conference of the British Academy of Management
Event typeUnkonwn
Degree of RecognitionInternational

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502006 Controlling
  • 502014 Innovation research
  • 502044 Business management
  • 502052 Business administration