Gender diversity of the management board and corporate governance

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2019-12-03
Language
en
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Abstract
This research considers how gender diversity of the management board affects corporate governance. Whereas most research on gender diversity of the management board and corporate governance focuses on the financial performance of the firm, this study focuses on the social performance of the firm, thereby aligning with the stakeholder-oriented vision on corporate governance that is custom to coordinated market economies. Hence, more specifically, this study looks into whether and why gender-diverse management boards differ from an all-male management board with regard to the extent to which the board preserves and contributes to the interests of employees and society. This study aims to contribute to the academic literature on corporate governance and gender diversity, while simultaneously providing an additional rationale for improving gender diversity of management boards. The qualitative research method of conducting semi-structured interviews has been adopted to delineate gender-based differences between individual board members of medium-sized law firms in the Netherlands. Building upon the upper echolons theory, the characteristics of individual board members are attributed to the boards on a group level. In particular, it is assessed whether the CSR orientation, leadership style and risk aversion of the boards impact employee well-being and the CSR initiatives of the firm. On the basis of the research analysis it can be concluded that gender-diverse management boards differ from the all-male management board. However, it cannot be determined whether a causal relationship exists between the gender diversity of the management board and corporate governance. Keywords: management board – gender diversity – corporate governance – social performance
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Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen
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