Skip navigation

Competences of an effective director

Competences of an effective director

Coulson-Thomas, Colin (2009) Competences of an effective director. Industrial and Commercial Training, 41 (1). pp. 27-35. ISSN 0019-7858 (doi:

Full text not available from this repository.


This paper shares the findings of investigations into the competences that an effective director should have.

It draws upon the findings of surveys of director development undertaken by the author and others and the author’s experience of advising over 100 boards on director and board development.

The findings suggest it is possible to identify, categorise and prioritise the competences that directors require to be more effective in their roles. Trainers and developers interested in addressing directorial competence requirements need to understand the distinction between direction and management, and between deficiencies that require individual and collective action, the boardroom context and concerns directors may themselves have about the assessment of their competences. There are certain questions they need to ask to assess the development requirement.

The surveys examined have mainly involved UK directors and unitary boards. The situation might be different in other countries. It would be helpful if more studies were undertaken of director and board development in other contexts and involving different board structures, e.g. two tier or management and supervisory boards.

The competences of individual directors and those of the board as a whole should be periodically reviewed, particularly as the membership of a board changes and it faces new challenges. Trainers and developers can address this requirement by sensitively handling any concerns directors may have about the process used.

The paper highlights the nature of the competences required by a competent director and the challenge of assessing, categorising, prioritising and addressing competence deficiencies. The paper should be of value to those who support directors and boards and have an interest in improving the competence of directors and the effectiveness of boards.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: boards of directors, management development, competences, knowledge management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Department of Human Resources & Organisational Behaviour
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:14

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item