A board of directors is a group appointed or elected to represent shareholders at major companies.Every public company must have a board of directors. These boards establish administrative policies including the hiring and firing of executives, the distribution of dividends, and executive compensation. But while a company’s board of directors represents the interests of a company’s administration, it should also make decisions on behalf of shareholders, protecting their investments in the company. A board’s decisions may lean too favorably toward administration if it contains too many senior managers, or the administration may be excluded from major decisions if the board contains too many independent representatives - individuals chosen from outside the business. A board of directors usually has the final say on a company’s major decisions, and must take responsibility if those decisions don’t go as planned.