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CRITICAL MASS THEORY AND WOMEN DIRECTORS’ CONTRIBUTION TO BOARD STRATEGIC TASKS

Mariateresa Torchia, Andrea Calabrò, Morten Huse, Marina Brogi

DOI: 10.22495/cbv6i3art4

Abstract

In this article we offer an empirical test of the critical mass arguments in the discussion of women on corporate boards. The literature in the women on corporate board debate concludes that there must be at least three women on a board before the women really make a difference. These arguments are frequently used in the public debate about the understanding the impact of women on corporate boards, but they have never really been empirically tested on a large sample. In this paper we use a sample of 317 Norwegian firms. Our dependent variable is board strategic involvement. The findings support the critical mass arguments. This study offers useful insights to policy-makers interested in defining legislative measures mandating the presence of women directors in corporate boards by showing that “at least three women” may be particularly beneficial in terms of contribution to board strategic tasks.

Keywords: corporate governance, critical mass, women directors, board strategic tasks

How to cite this paper: Torchia, M., Calabrò, A., Huse, M., & Brogi, M. (2010). Critical mass theory and women directors’ contribution to board strategic tasks. Corporate Board: role, duties and composition, 6(3), 42-51. doi:10.22495/cbv6i3art4

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