The Nomination and Motivations of Irish Non-Executive Directors of Listed Companies

Anna Egan, Dublin Institute of Technology
Rebecca Maughan, Dublin Institute of Technology
Joseph Coughlan, Dublin Institute of Technology

Document Type Conference Paper


This paper reports the preliminary findings of an empirical investigation into the process of appointing non-executive directors and their motivations behind the adoption of the position. While research into the board of directors has been extensive, little deliberation has been given to the motives of non-executives who choose to sit on boards (Roberts, 2002). Given that the board of directors has been charged with much more responsibility in recent years and is being held to a higher level of accountability than would historically be expected (Donnelly and Kelly, 2005), the choice of non-executives to continue to take up roles on boards is an interesting one and as such warrants academic attention. Many of the directors interviewed acknowledged that the remuneration received for the position did not fully compensate for the personal liability they exposed themselves to and as such was not an appropriate determinant of motive. Instead non-executive directors interviewed presented motivations such as the valid contribution they had to offer, or merely viewed the acceptance of non-executive positions as part of the job.