Faculty of Business & Law,
School of Accountancy
BiographyGavin Nicholson BEcon, LLB, MBA(Adv), PhD, FAICD, is an Associate Professor in the School of Accountancy at the QUT Business School, Queensland University of Technology. He specialises in a behavioural approach to corporate governance and is a member of the Centre for Behavioural Economics, Society and Technology.
In addition to researching, lecturing and developing materials in the areas of governance policy and practice, Gavin is an experienced director, governance researcher and board consultant. He has published extensively in the leading journals of his field and currently oversees several large research projects aimed at understanding how boards can improve their decision-making.
From a practical perspective, Gavin has co-authored several practitioner-focused books including Boards that Work: A New Guide for Directors, one of the first normative guides to effective governance that stimulated the widespread adoption of Corporate Governance Charters. He has also been a leading developer of effective governance review methodologies and co-authored several popular works in that area including the book Board, Director and CEO Evaluation.
Prior to joining QUT, Gavin spent 12 years as a management consultant specialising in corporate governance and strategy advice to listed and large public companies, government owned corporations, statutory authorities, not-for-profit organisations and local government.
Recent and Major Awards and Professional Recognition
Finalist, Stalkerspace Lecturer of the Year (student-driven Facebook award), 2019
Best Paper of the Year in Corporate Governance: An International Review (Q1; IF:6.4) for “The influence of board chairs on director engagement: A case‐based exploration of boardroom decision‐making” (with PJ Bezemer and A Pugliese), 2018.
Nominee, David Gardener Teaching Award, 2017.
Best Paper of the Year in Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management (Q2) for “Inside the boardroom: exploring board member interactions” (with PJ Bezemer and A Pugliese), 2015.
Finalist (#3 in QUT) for Unijobs Top 10 lecturers, 2014.
Fellow, King’s College, University of Queensland, 2010.
Runner up, Best Paper of the Year in Corporate Governance: An International Review (Q1; IF:6.4) for “Can directors impact performance? A case‐based test of three theories of corporate governance” (with G Kiel), 2007.
Recent grants Awarded
2020-2021. Funding body: Financial Planning Association of Australia. Title: Developing Healthy Financial Habits in Young Adults: Investigating the Relationship Between Financial Literacy, Engagement with Finances and Financial Decision-making, $10,000.
2018-2019. Funding body: E3 Advisory. Impact of the Digital Economy on Infrastructure Development and Funding, $4,784.
2014-2019. Funding body: The Davidson Institute (Westpac). The Director Financial Competency Inventory: A project to measure and enhance NFP Director Financial Competence, $60,000.
2012-2018. Funding body: The Trust Company. Developing Your Board, $150,000.
- Board dynamics and teamwork
- Board decision making
- Corporate governance
- Associate Professor
Faculty of Business & Law,
School of Accountancy
Boards of directors, Corporate governance
Business and Management
Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008
- PhD (University of Queensland)
Professional memberships and associations
Associate Fellow, Australian Institute of Management
Member, International Corporate Governance Society
Major recent external service roles
Director, International Corporate Governance Society 2014-Present
Secretary, International Corporate Governance Society, 2014-2019
Treasurer, International Corporate Governance Society, 2019-Present
Member, Anglican Schools Commission, 2020-Present
Chair, CHAC (independent P-12 school), 2014 - 2020
Director, CHAC, 2003 - 2020 incl. membership of Audit Committee, Chair of Risk Committee, Chair of Remuneration Committee.
Editorial Board Member: Corporate Governance: An International Review
Editorial Board Member: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
Member, Service Committee 2006-2007
Chair, Service Committee 2007-2018
Member, Research Committee 2018-present
Member, Colin Brain Governance Committee, 2007 - Present
E3 Advisory Runge Limited CSIRO
Greater Building Society New England Area Health Training Services
Boystown Red Cross Betta Stores Limited
CRC for Greenhouse Gas Accounting Animal Health Australia
Bluegum Beef Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania Governance SystemSecurities Institute of Australia Brian Bell & Co. (Papua New Guinea)
- Veltrop D, Bezemer P, Nicholson G, Pugliese A, (2021) Too unsafe to monitor? How board–CEO cognitive conflict and chair leadership shape outside director monitoring, Academy of Management Journal, 64 (1), pp. 207-234.
- Elms N, Nicholson G, (2020) How director identification shapes accountability and scope of contribution, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 33 (8), pp. 1815-1834.
- Nicholson G, Skelton R, Tarr J, (2019) An exploratory study of regulatory failure in the Australian home mortgage market, Journal of Consumer Affairs, 53 (1), pp. 126-166.
- Kiel G, Nicholson G, Tunny J, Beck J, (2018) Reviewing your board: a guide to board and director evaluation, Australian Institute of Company Directors.
- Sanchez R, Galbreath J, Nicholson G, (2018) Building sustainability competence from the top down: A model for researching and improving boards of directors' influence on firms' sustainability performance. In U Asan, A Heene, S Polat & R Sanchez, Mid-range management theory: Competence perspectives on modularity and dynamic capabilities (Research in Competence-Based Management, Volume 8), Emerald, pp. 69-107.
- Bezemer P, Nicholson G, Pugliese A, (2018) The influence of board chairs on director engagement: A case based exploration of boardroom decision-making, Corporate Governance: An International Review, 26 (3), pp. 219-234.
- Tarr J, Nicholson G, (2017) Accountability and retrospective legislation - Implications for directors, officers and third parties, Australian Business Law Review, 45 (4), pp. 337-343.
- Nicholson G, Pugliese A, Bezemer P, (2017) Habitual accountability routines in the boardroom: how boards balance control and collaboration, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 30 (2), pp. 222-246.
- Pugliese A, Nicholson G, Bezemer P, (2015) An observational analysis of the impact of board dynamics and directors' participation on perceived board effectiveness, British Journal of Management, 26 (1), pp. 1-25.
- Elms N, Nicholson G, Pugliese A, (2015) The importance of group-fit in new director selection, Management Decision, 53 (6), pp. 1312-1328.
- Director Identity, Identification and Information Flows as Predictors of Board Monitoring, Resource Provision and Organisational Performance
- Primary fund type
- CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
- Project ID
- Start year
- Boards of directors; Identity; Network analysis; Corporate governance
- An Analysis of the social dynamics in boardrooms: chairperson leadership, pluralistic ignorance and demographic faultlines
MPhil, Principal Supervisor
Other supervisors: Dr Elisabeth Sinnewe
- Compulsory Insurance Frameworks for Emerging Aviation Technology - Framing the Future of Unmanned Aircraft Systems
PhD, Associate Supervisor
Other supervisors: Professor Julie-Anne Tarr
Completed supervisions (Doctorate)
- The importance of team processes in harnassing conflict in field project teams (2019)
- Exploring the Effect of Director Tenure on Director Monitoring: A Case-Based Approach (2017)
- Director Independence or Decision Bias? An Investigation of Alternative Sources of Agency Costs in Board Decision Making (2015)
- Comparing Cost Uplift in Infrastructure Delivery Methods: A Case Based Approach (2011)
- Exploring the Role of the Governing Body (Board) in Information Technology Governance: A study of Australian Universities (2011)
- Role of the Board in Firm Strategy: A Strategy as Practice View (2009)
Completed supervisions (Masters by Research)
- Unpacking Director Financial Literacy (2015)
- An Exploratory Study into Director Selection: Who Do Directors Want on Their Boards and How Do They Select Them? (2014)
- Characteristics of Bangladeshi corporate networks (2013)
- Do Board Contacts Matter? An analysis of the relationship between boards of directors' ties and the performance of Australia's largest companies (2010)