Women Directors on Corporate Boards: From Tokenism to Critical Mass [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 102 (2):299-317 (2011)

Abstract
Academic debate on the strategic importance of women corporate directors is widely recognized and still open. However, most corporate boards have only one woman director or a small minority of women directors. Therefore they can still be considered as tokens. This article addresses the following question: does an increased number of women corporate boards result in a build up of critical mass that substantially contributes to firm innovation? The aim is to test if ‘at least three women’ could constitute the desired critical mass by identifying different minorities of women directors (one woman, two women and at least three women). Tests are conducted on a sample of 317 Norwegian firms. The results suggest that attaining critical mass – going from one or two women (a few tokens) to at least three women (consistent minority) – makes it possible to enhance the level of firm innovation. Moreover, the results show that the relationship between the critical mass of women directors and the level of firm innovation is mediated by board strategic tasks. Implications for both theory and practice, and future research directions are discussed
Keywords corporate governance  critical mass theory  board strategic tasks  organizational innovation  tokenism  women directors
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-011-0815-z
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,355
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 32 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Changing Composition of Canadian Boards of Directors.Paul Dunn & Barbara Sainty - 2005 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 16:230-233.
Country, Industry, and Firm-Level Influences on the Prevalence of Women on Corporate Boards.Johanne Grosvold & Stephen Brammer - 2009 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 20:261-277.
Are Director Equity Policies Exclusionary?Dan R. Dalton - 2003 - Business Ethics Quarterly 13 (4):415-432.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-08-09

Total views
64 ( #137,233 of 2,286,100 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #248,946 of 2,286,100 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature