Female Representation on Corporate Boards in Europe: The Interplay of Organizational Social Consciousness and Institutions

Journal of Business Ethics (Forthcoming)

49 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2021

See all articles by Cynthia Clark

Cynthia Clark

Bentley University - Department of Management

Punit Arora

City University of New York

Patricia Gabaldon

Fundación Instituto de Empresa, S.L. - IE Business School

Date Written: July 19, 2021

Abstract

We examine the role of alignment between organizational social consciousness and the informal and formal institutions of a country in increasing female representation on boards. We find the greater the alignment between organizational social consciousness and certain formal (i.e., a gender quota) and informal (i.e., high gender equality) institutions, the more progress there is towards gender representation on corporate boards in Europe. We also find that more socially conscious firms make the most progress, often going beyond the minimum regulatory targets. By showing the complementarity of these factors, we address the enduring question of how the interplay of formal and informal institutions directly affects corporate behavior, thus contributing to the institutional, public policy/regulatory, and corporate governance literatures. We note the need for policymakers to go beyond mere codification of rules via quotas and simultaneously work towards raising national and organizational social consciousness levels on issues of gender equality.

Keywords: Formal and informal institutions, Institutional alignment, Organizational Social Consciousness (OSC), Boards of Directors, Gender diversity

Suggested Citation

Clark, Cynthia and Arora, Punit and Gabaldon, Patricia, Female Representation on Corporate Boards in Europe: The Interplay of Organizational Social Consciousness and Institutions (July 19, 2021). Journal of Business Ethics (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3887588 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3887588

Cynthia Clark (Contact Author)

Bentley University - Department of Management ( email )

175 Forest Street
Waltham, MA 02145
United States

Punit Arora

City University of New York ( email )

160 Convent Ave
NA 4/120
New York, NY 10031
United States
2126508502 (Phone)

Patricia Gabaldon

Fundación Instituto de Empresa, S.L. - IE Business School ( email )

Calle Maria de Molina 12, Bajo
Madrid, Madrid 28006
Spain

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