Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2272871
 


 



The Danger of Difference: Tensions in Directors’ Views of Corporate Board Diversity


Kimberly D. Krawiec


Duke University - School of Law

John M. Conley


University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law

Lissa L. Broome


University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law

April 23, 2013

University of Illinois Law Review, Vol. 2013, No. 3, 2013

Abstract:     
This Article describes the results from fifty-seven interviews with corporate directors and a limited number of other persons (including institutional investors, search firm personnel, and the like) regarding their views on corporate board diversity. It highlights numerous tensions in these views. Most directors, for instance, proclaim that diverse boards are good, but very few directors can articulate their reasons for this belief. Some directors have suggested that diverse boards work better than non-diverse boards, but gave relatively few concrete examples of specific instances where a female or minority board member made a special contribution related to that director’s race or gender. Many directors noted the importance of collegiality and getting along in the boardroom, while simultaneously extolling the advantages of different perspectives in avoiding group think. Although all acknowledged the importance of fitting in, few considered whether this impeded the role of “outsiders” providing a diverse perspective. This Article also explores directors’ thoughts on why progress in improving board diversity has been so slow if most agree that diversity is an important goal.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 40

Keywords: boards of directors, corporate boards, diversity, race, gender, ethnography, qualitative research

JEL Classification: K22, K00, K10

Accepted Paper Series


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Date posted: June 1, 2013 ; Last revised: January 21, 2014

Suggested Citation

Krawiec, Kimberly D. and Conley, John M. and Broome, Lissa L., The Danger of Difference: Tensions in Directors’ Views of Corporate Board Diversity (April 23, 2013). University of Illinois Law Review, Vol. 2013, No. 3, 2013. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2272871

Contact Information

Kimberly D. Krawiec (Contact Author)
Duke University - School of Law ( email )
Box 90360
Duke School of Law
Durham, NC 27708
United States
John M. Conley
University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law ( email )
Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road
CB #3380
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380
United States
919-962-8502 (Phone)
Lissa L. Broome
University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law ( email )
Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road
CB #3380
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380
United States
919-962-7066 (Phone)
919-962-1277 (Fax)
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