Women on Boards of Directors and Corporate Social Performance: A Meta‐Analysis
15 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2016
Date Written: July 2016
Research Question. Whether and how women directors influence firms' engagement in socially responsible business practices and social reputation among diverse stakeholders is unclear due to conflicting empirical evidence, the lack of a coherent theory linking these variables, and inattention to the national contexts in which these relationships occurs.
Research Findings. Results from our meta‐analysis of 87 independent samples suggest that, while generally positive, the female board representation–social performance relationship is even more positive in national contexts when boards may be more motivated to draw on the resources that women directors bring to a board (i.e., among firms operating in countries with stronger shareholder protections) and in contexts where intra‐board power distribution may be more balanced (i.e., in countries with higher gender parity).
Theoretical Implications. Future studies should more attentively examine how firms' institutional contexts enhance or mitigate the relationship between women's representation on boards and corporate social performance. Our findings also highlight the need for a comprehensive understanding of the social performance‐related knowledge, perspectives, and values that men and women bring to boards.
Practitioner/Policy Implications. Our results suggest that, to enhance any benefits of diversity for corporate social performance, efforts be directed at holding boards more accountable toward diverse stakeholders and improving the status of women in society and in the workforce.
Keywords: Corporate Governance, Board of Directors, Corporate Social Responsibility, Diversity, Women
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation