A debate surrounds CEO outside board service and its contribution to firm performance. Agency scholars contend CEO outside directorships constitute a form of managerial opportunism that potentially detracts from internal responsibilities, but embeddedness scholars argue that directorship ties afford access to information and resources of important strategic utility. In an effort at reconciliation, we propose and test a midrange, contingency-based model receiving strong support in analysis of more than 400 large firms. CEO outside directorships are positively related to the long-term performance of firms facing competitive constraints on growth. They also benefit strategically focused firms more than highly diversified ones.
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