The Ceiling Trumps the Cliff – Gender-Related Promotion Patterns to Executive Boards in DAX-Firms
46 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2016
Date Written: September 30, 2016
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: Suggested Citation