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Business and Bagels | Applying Strategy to Board Design

January 19, 2022
8:00 am
-9:30 am


Whether a firm simply survives or actively thrives often hinges on the managers’ understanding—and ideally mastering—organizational design. Organizational design seeks to create alignment between the organization and its operational strategy through a mix of formal and informal structures, processes, and rewards. While the principles of organizational design apply to all parts of the firm, one key area will be the focus of the January 19 Business and Bagels webinar: the board room. Shelby Gai, Ph.D., will examine how leaders can structure their advisory boards to successfully execute on strategy. What factors should decisionmakers consider when searching for board candidates? What structure helps even the newest board member to fully and enthusiastically contribute to the decision-making process? Gai presents a framework that empowers managers to shape an advisory council as a buffer from current challenges while steering towards long-term success.



Shelby Gai, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Management at Michigan State University. Her research focuses on board design – a subfield of organizational design that emphasizes how to design a company’s board of directors to align with the organization’s strategic goals. Her work has received awards including the 2018 Andreas Al-Laham Best Paper Award from the Multi-Level Network Research Standing Working Group at the European Group for Organizational Studies and was nominated for the 2019 Best Paper Proceedings from the Strategy Division of the Academy of Management.

Shelby graduated with an M.A. and Ph.D. in Management and Organizations from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She also has an M.S. in Statistics from Northwestern as well as a M.A. from the Wharton School, where she researched changes in Hong Kong’s board independence regulations using an institutional lens. Shelby graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with an A.B. in Sociology and a certificate in East Asian Studies. Before entering academia, Shelby worked in the Financial Services and Board Services Practices at the executive search firm Spencer Stuart in both their New York and Shanghai offices.

Professional headshot of Shelby Gai, assistant professor of management

Shelby Gai, assistant professor of management




January 19, 2022
8:00 am-9:30 am
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Executive Development Programs