Advisory Board

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An advisory board is a body with an advisory function . Advisory boards often have little or no decision-making powers and control functions , but are limited to advice and recommendations. Unlike the permanent advisory boards are commissions (for example, the commissions of inquiry of the German Parliament ), which operate mostly advisory bodies only for a limited time.

Function and distinction

Advisory boards serve

Advisory boards are used by institutions and organizations of all kinds, for example:

The advisory boards (in the sense of a member of the advisory board) are usually named, but they can also be elected. You can do voluntary work , for a monetary benefit or for remuneration .

Advisory boards regulated by law

A number of advisory boards are formed on the basis of laws . Examples are:

Advisory boards at state institutions often serve to represent the interests of affected citizens or to ensure public participation. Examples include hospital advisory boards , total parent-teacher associations , school governors or safety councils . Membership in advisory boards is mostly voluntary.

Also on a legal basis, in accordance with the Condominium Act, administrative councils are set up to represent the community of condominiums .

Scientific Advisory Boards

Scientific advisory boards are often appointed on behalf of universities, research projects, governments or parliaments. These serve the scientific evaluation of the results and advise the decision-makers. Examples are:

Other advisory boards

In clubs, associations and companies in particular, advisory boards are often created on a voluntary basis or on the basis of statutes . The powers and composition of an advisory board can be freely defined and, in contrast to the supervisory board, are not standardized by law.

An example where an advisory board is also used as a control instrument is a limited partnership , for example in closed funds. There is no obligation to set up a supervisory board . Nevertheless, the courts often apply company law to advisory board liability analogously.

Problem areas

Critics of corporate advisory boards criticize the following aspects:

  • The practice of many large companies to employ advisory boards consisting mainly of politicians has been criticized for being a form of lobbying or of covert influence on political decisions. Consultants point out that a professional advisory board structure and targeted staffing are important prerequisites for successful advisory board work.
  • Advisory boards of companies grow particularly often after mergers . Supervisory boards that have become superfluous are then bound to the new company by the advisory board.
  • Banks, financial service providers , electricity suppliers and insurers have large advisory boards. The presence of representatives from politics is particularly noticeable here.


  • Hermut Kormann: Advisory boards are responsible. Supervision and advice in family businesses. Springer-Verlag, Berlin / Heidelberg 2008.
  • Otto W. Obermaier: The advisory board as a key instrument for long-term corporate success , in: Shareholder competence [1] . The responsibility of the owners of family businesses, ed. EQUA Foundation, Unternehmer Medien Verlag, Bonn 2011.

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