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As the health care environment becomes more competitive, nonprofit hospitals are under pressure to adopt for-profit business practices. Based on an extensive field study, this research examines the central issue of organizational governance by comparing the strategic roles of nonprofit hospital boards with for-profit industrial boards. The results show that nonprofit hospital boards are generally more involved in the strategic decision process than their for-profit counterparts. If this governance activity is seen as desirable, hospital boards should exercise caution in emulating for-profit board practices.