Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Dr. Eric Morse

Second Advisor

Dr. Glenn Rowe

Third Advisor

Dr. Claus Rerup


This dissertation began as a study to explore the role of the Most Trusted Advisor in family-controlled firms. What emerged through grounded theory methodology was a conceptual model of mindful governance. Most Trusted Advisors capture the attention of decision-makers through the attentional enablers of voice and weight. They influence that attention through attentional process facilitators - sense of self in relation to others, sense of self in contribution to the whole, and decision bias to others in relation to self. And, Most Trusted Advisors help enable an environment of mindful governance. A mindful governance environment helps the decision-maker to craft more encompassing decisions, and facilitates collective direction. In developing the model of mindful governance, I draw on and contribute to research on the attention-based view, issue-selling, and heedful interrelating in the collective mind.



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