This thesis asks how stakeholders can be represented and included into the board of directors’ level and how these stakeholders can benefit the board by this inclusion. The thesis is therefore concerned with the question of how boards of directors should be composed and how they should operate in order to include and benefit from stakeholder relationships for the long term strategic decision making of a focal firm. In order to solve this question the thesis is based on three different theories in board research, namely agency, resource dependency and stakeholder theory, in order to fill the limitations of each theory with the benefit of another. Thereby a comprehensive framework for board analysis was developed in order to evaluate the various possibilities, the impact and importance of stakeholder relationships on the board of director’s level. Research in extant theoretical literature and empirical research helped to identify potential positive effects of stakeholders by their inclusion on the board of directors’ level and sets the basis for the three interrelated but autonomous empirical parts of the thesis. The empirical investigation thereby combined quantitative and qualitative analyses in order to benefit from the advantages of both methodological approaches and limit their negative side effects by single usage. By a non‐reactive method of data collection and quantitative analysis, the negative effects of the influence of the researcher on the data (e.g. researchers influence on interviewees) was limited. On the other hand, the qualitative method, using interviews in order to evaluate the perceived benefits provided by stakeholder relationships on the board of directors’ level in three case studies as well as to reflect the overall findings by expert interviews from different perspectives, allows to appropriately respond to the complexity of the issue. The results give preliminary support that the inclusion of stakeholders on the board of directors have positive effects for the board and the company but different corporate situations and managerial implications should be taken into consideration in order to improve the outcomes.