Journal of Business Ethics 125 (3):1-16 (2014)

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Abstract
The inconsistent findings of past board diversity research demand a test of competing linear and curvilinear diversity–performance predictions. This research focuses on board age and gender diversity, and presents a positive linear prediction based on resource dependence theory, a negative linear prediction based on social identity theory, and an inverted U-shaped curvilinear prediction based on the integration of resource dependence theory with social identity theory. The predictions were tested using archival data on 288 large organizations listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, with a 1-year time lag between diversity (age and gender) and performance (employee productivity and return on assets). The results indicate a positive linear relationship between gender diversity and employee productivity, a negative linear relationship between age diversity and return on assets, and an inverted U-shaped curvilinear relationship between age diversity and return on assets. The findings provide additional evidence on the business case for board gender diversity and refine the business case for board age diversity
Keywords Board diversity  Age diversity  Gender diversity  Performance  Competing predictions
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Reprint years 2014
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-013-1930-9
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