The Ceiling Trumps the Cliff – Gender-Related Promotion Patterns to Executive Boards in DAX-Firms

46 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2016

See all articles by Myriam Bechtoldt

Myriam Bechtoldt

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

Maximilian Voigt

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

Christina E. Bannier

Justus-Liebig-University Giessen

Date Written: September 30, 2016

Abstract

Previous field studies on the glass cliff hypothesis in corporate settings focused on the Anglo-American context and yielded mixed results. This study analyzes promotion patterns to executive boards in Germany, the country of largest economic power in Europe. Screening the boards of all 160 firms listed in the German DAX-30, MDAX, SDAX and TecDAX from 1999 to 2014 yields a sample of 75 female executive director appointments; this sample is matched with an equal number of male directors. For two years before and after board members’ appointments, we measure company performance by daily stock prices and annual accounting-based measures. Results contradict the glass cliff hypothesis: Firms more likely promote women to their boards in times of stability. After the appointment decision, they continue to perform better than their competitors appointing men. Nonetheless, shareholders disapprove of the appointment of women, particularly in times of crises.

Keywords: Glass Cliff, Leadership, Gender, Crisis

JEL Classification: G11, M51

Suggested Citation

Bechtoldt, Myriam and Voigt, Maximilian and Bannier, Christina E., The Ceiling Trumps the Cliff – Gender-Related Promotion Patterns to Executive Boards in DAX-Firms (September 30, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2845722 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2845722

Myriam Bechtoldt (Contact Author)

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management ( email )

Adickesallee 32-34
Frankfurt am Main, 60322
Germany

Maximilian Voigt

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management ( email )

Adickesallee 32-34
Frankfurt am Main, 60322
Germany

Christina E. Bannier

Justus-Liebig-University Giessen ( email )

Licher Str. 62
Gießen, 35394
Germany
+49 641 99 22551 (Phone)

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