The importation, over the last 30 years, of private sector governance mechanisms into public sector bodies at arm’s-length from government has brought greater focus on the relationship of part-time Non-Executive Chairs and full-time Chief Executives. This paper explores this relationship in 14 UK public bodies, based on in-depth interviews with Chairs, Chief Executives and, as triangulation, Audit Committee Chairs. The findings concern: the negotiated differentiation of roles; the effects of the Chief Executive’s separate authority as Accounting Officer on internal governance; the management of external stakeholders; and how crises can affect roles and relationships. Improved processes of training and mentoring are proposed.
- Public sector corporate governance
- Chair-Chief Executive relationships
- Accounting Officer
- public bodies