On the Presence and Absence of CEO Gender Effects on Management Control Choices: An Empirical Investigation
60 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2014
Date Written: September 12, 2014
Addressing the scarcity of gender research in management control studies, this study examines whether CEO gender is a significant variable in explaining cross-sectional variation in management control choices after controlling for firm and industry context, for the presence of a board and for the individual CEO’s experiences. Using survey data our results reveal an incremental explanatory power for CEO gender with control practices that to a large extent serve a CEO’s own managerial decision making, such as action planning and the use of financial performance measures for company target setting and evaluation. We observe no gender effect at all with respect to those controls that are used almost exclusively to communicate with and guide employees (i.e., reward, compensation, and administrative controls). Based on insights from the literature on stereotypical gender role attributes, the results of our study imply that female CEOs sometimes conform to their gender role for controls which serve their own decision making and conform to their leadership role when controls involve communicating, guidance, evaluating, and rewarding. With this study we contribute not only to the control literature, but also more broadly to manager-effect studies by integrating different literatures to provide more insight into when CEO gender matters to explain control choices. We illustrate that differences in context and differences in control purposes wipe out a number of stereotype-driven perceptions.
Keywords: gender research, management control systems, CEO demographics, upper echelons theory
JEL Classification: M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation