Critical Mass Theory and Women Directors' Contribution to Board Strategic Tasks

Corporate Board: Role, Duties & Composition, Vol. 6, Issue 3, 2010

10 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2011 Last revised: 29 May 2012

See all articles by Mariateresa Torchia

Mariateresa Torchia

University of Rome Tor Vergata

Andrea Calabrò

Witten Institute for Family Business - Witten/Herdecke University

Morten Huse

Norwegian School of Management (BI) - Department of Innovation and Economics; MH Management Consultants; University of Witten/Herdecke; BI Norwegian Business School

Marina Brogi

University of Rome I - Dipartimento Banche Assicurazioni Mercati

Date Written: December 6, 2010

Abstract

In this article we offer an empirical test of the critical mass arguments in the discussion of women on corporate boards. The literature in the women on corporate board debate concludes that there must be at least three women on a board before the women really make a difference. These arguments are frequently used in the public debate about the understanding the impact of women on corporate boards, but they have never really been empirically tested on a large sample. In this paper we use a sample of 317 Norwegian firms. Our dependent variable is board strategic involvement. The findings support the critical mass arguments. This study offers useful insights to policy-makers interested in defining legislative measures mandating the presence of women directors in corporate boards by showing that “at least three women” may be particularly beneficial in terms of contribution to board strategic tasks.

Keywords: corporate governance, critical mass, women directors, board strategic tasks

JEL Classification: M10

Suggested Citation

Torchia, Mariateresa and Calabrò, Andrea and Huse, Morten and Brogi, Marina, Critical Mass Theory and Women Directors' Contribution to Board Strategic Tasks (December 6, 2010). Corporate Board: Role, Duties & Composition, Vol. 6, Issue 3, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1861447 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1861447

Mariateresa Torchia

University of Rome Tor Vergata ( email )

Via di Tor Vergata
Lazio
Italy

Andrea Calabrò (Contact Author)

Witten Institute for Family Business - Witten/Herdecke University ( email )

Alfred-Herrausen-Straße 50
Witten, DE Dortmund 58448
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.uni-wh.de/universitaet/personenverzeichnis/details/show/Employee/calabro/

Morten Huse

Norwegian School of Management (BI) - Department of Innovation and Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 580
N-1302 Sandvika
Norway

MH Management Consultants ( email )

Butterudveien 32
N 1339 Vøyenenga
Vøyenenga
Norway

HOME PAGE: http://www.boardsandwine.net

University of Witten/Herdecke ( email )

Alfred-Herrhausen-Straße 50
Witten, 58448
Germany

BI Norwegian Business School ( email )

Nydalsveien 37
Oslo, 0442
Norway

Marina Brogi

University of Rome I - Dipartimento Banche Assicurazioni Mercati ( email )

Rome
Italy

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