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The Corporate Board Glass Ceiling: The Role of Empowerment and Culture in Shaping Board Gender Diversity

  • Krista B. LewellynEmail author
  • Maureen I. Muller-Kahle
Original Paper
  • 53 Downloads

Abstract

In this study, we use a mixed methods research design to investigate how national cultural forces may impede or enhance the positive impact of females’ economic and political empowerment on increasing gender diversity of corporate boards. Using both a longitudinal correlation-based methodology and a configurational approach with fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis, we integrate theoretical mechanisms from gender schema and institutional theories to develop a mid-range theory about how female empowerment and national culture shape gender diversity on corporate boards around the world. With our configurational approach, we conceptually and empirically model the complexity that is associated with the simultaneous interdependencies, both complementary and substitutive ones, between female empowerment processes and various cultural dimensions. Our findings contribute unique insights to research focused on board gender diversity as well as provide information for firm decision makers and policymakers about possible solutions for addressing the continuing issue of the underrepresentation of women on corporate boards.

Keywords

Board gender diversity Female empowerment Power distance Masculinity Fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge helpful comments from participants at the 2017 International Corporate Governance Society Conference, where an earlier version of this paper was presented.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Krista B. Lewellyn and Maureen I. Muller-Kahle declare that they have no conflict of interest with respect to the conduct of this research.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Florida Southern CollegeLakelandUSA
  2. 2.The Pennsylvania State UniversityYorkUSA

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