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Asia Pacific Journal of Management

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 275–304 | Cite as

An investigation of the relationship between gender composition and organizational performance in Taiwan—The role of task complexity

  • I-Chieh HsuEmail author
  • John J. Lawler
Article
  • 167 Downloads

Abstract

An important research issue concerns the effects of gender diversity on organizational performance. Over the years, gender diversity has largely been discussed at the group level or the level of the business unit at most. It has not been widely studied at the level of the organization as a whole. Moreover, such studies have resulted in mixed findings. Diversity does not necessarily improve work performance, often times its relationship with performance can be negative. Drawing on the dynamic capabilities perspective and the contingency perspective, this study investigates the effects of gender diversity on organizational performance in the context of differing job levels in manufacturing companies in Taiwan. We found that female representation in the job level of managers, professionals and administrative personnel showed an inverted U-shaped relationship with organizational performance, and the optimal proportion of women is generally higher than 50%. However, the effect of gender diversity on organizational performance tends to be negative among production workers. Our findings indicate that in the job level of high task complexity, gender diversity contributes to organizational performance. While in the job level of low task complexity, gender diversity does not lead to improved performance. Our findings offer implications for theory and practice.

Keywords

Gender diversity Gender composition Organizational performance Task complexity Manufacturing industries Taiwan East and Southeast Asia 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate Institute of Human Resource ManagementNational Changhua University of EducationChanghuaTaiwan
  2. 2.School of Labor and Employment RelationsUniversity of Illinois at Urbana ChampaignChampaignUSA

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