Board demographic diversity, independence, and corporate social performance
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- Board demographic diversity, independence, and corporate social performance
- Zhang, Lu
- Boards of directors; Chief executive officer duality; Company performance; Corporate social performance; Demographic diversity; Gender; Outsider representation on boards
- Issue Date
- Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
- CORPORATE GOVERNANCE, v.12, no.5, pp.686 - 700
- Purpose: Drawing on agency theory and resource dependence theory, the study aims to link board demographic diversity and independence to corporate social performance. Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected from various sources for a sample of 475 publicly traded Fortune 500 companies between the years 2007 and 2008. Findings: It is found that board gender diversity is positively related to institutional and technical strength ratings, while board racial diversity is positively related to institutional strength rating only. Both the proportion of outside directors and CEO non-duality were negatively associated with institutional and technical weakness ratings. Research limitations/implications: The sample was predominantly large, publicly traded national and international corporations, which might limit the generalizability of the findings. Practical implications: Management personnel should be cognizant of how board configurations and leadership structure may influence their corporate reputation for social responsibility. Efforts should be made to foster a group dynamic that is conducive to effective board functioning. Originality/value: Few empirical studies have examined the relationship between board characteristics and corporate social performance. This study contributes to the literature by examining such associations.
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