High heels walking the talk? The effects of gender diversity in top management on unethical reporting behaviour and the moderating role of culture.

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This paper investigates the relationship between gender diversity of top management and unethical reporting behaviour and whether culture moderates this relationship. With a sample of 235 internationally publicly listed firms fixed-effects and Two-Stage Least Squares regressions are performed over the years 2002 to 2021. Robustness is ensured by the inclusion of lagged effects, various measures of the variables, taking into account critical mass and industry effects. This study provides evidence for a positive relationship between gender diversity of top management and CSR decoupling and a negative relationship between gender diversity of top management and tax avoidance. The latter was predicted by prior theoretical and empirical research, reasoning that on average females value ethicality and transparency higher and act more risk averse than their male counterparts do. However, these values are possible not to be expressed by female managers in their attempt to act more masculine to be perceived as a competent leader. For both the different findings, management’s and location’s level of secrecy moderates the relationship between gender diversity and unethical reporting behaviour. The positive relation gets strengthened, whereas the negative relation gets weakened in high secretive cultures.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen