Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Business Administration - Management

Committee Director

William Q. Judge

Committee Member

Stav Fainshmidt

Committee Member

Ryan Klinger

Committee Member

Mohammad Najand


Despite mounting societal demands for board gender diversity, some firms deviate below traditional norms, i.e., under-conform to expectations, while others adhere to them. To explain this variation within a national context, we build on insights from the emerging corporate governance deviance theory and gender role congruity theory. Using panel data on a globally-representative set of firms, Essay 1 shows that firms with higher entrepreneurial orientation are more likely to go below the national norms for board gender diversity. Our results also reveal that having more slack resources weakens the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and under-conformity. This study contributes to the comparative gender diversity literature and augments our knowledge of the institutional logics perspective for a global investigation of gender diversity on the board. Given the current popularity of board gender composition arguments, particularly in comparative corporate governance literature, and growing attention to the organizational agency, the intersection of these two provides a ground that is of interest for scholars of both institutional theory and corporate governance field.

Also, previous studies acknowledge the importance of isomorphic institutional norms to explain performance implications of the gender profiles of board of directors, leaving the variation within the same national or industry context unexplored. Building on insights from resource dependence theory, Essay 2 examines whether and how deviating above the industry norms (i.e., over-conformity) for female representation on boardrooms has different performance consequences for firms, depending on the stakeholder group influenced. Specifically, we find that accounting performance is reinforced as perceived by the managers and employees within the firm; market performance is unaffected as perceived by shareholders, and innovation performance is decreased as perceived by innovation resource providers. Hence, the performance effect of over-conformity depends on the stakeholder group considered. Overall, we contribute to resource dependence theory by emphasizing the role of various stakeholders in valuation of women’s presence. Moreover, this study extends our understanding of the boundary conditions for value creation by female directors by focusing on corporate governance deviance literature.


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