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BOARD DIVERSITY AND STRUCTURE: WHAT IMPLICATIONS FOR INVESTMENTS IN INNOVATION? EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE FROM ITALIAN CONTEXT

Silvio Bianchi Martini, Antonio Corvino, Alessandra Rigolini

DOI: 10.22495/cocv10i1art1

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to investigate the relationship between the board diversity and the investments in innovation in a sample of companies listed on the Italian Stock Exchange (named Borsa Italiana) and operating in the consumer goods and in the consumer services industry. This sample covers the period from 2006 to 2010 and contains 345 observations. Drawing on the literature review, we pinpointed six hypotheses related to the impact on the investments in innovation of the following independent variables: 1. presence of outside directors; 2. average number of the other positions held by the members of the board; 3. minority shareholder representatives on the board; 4. presence of women on the board of directors; 5. number of committees; 6. frequency of board meetings. Furthermore, on the basis of the previous empirical studies, to measure the investments in innovation (the dependent variable), we chose these accounting ratios: total intangible assets divided by total assets and total R&D costs divided by total sales. From the methodology standpoint, we used both the bivariate statistic (i.e. Pearson Correlations and Anova one way) and the multivariate one (i.e. OLS regression analysis with robust standard errors calculated by the Newey-West, HAC method). Our findings confirm the previous studies and show that, also for the Italian listed companies operating in the industries mentioned earlier, the outsiders as well as the frequency of meetings held by the Strategy Committee assume a relevant role in supporting the investments in innovation. Conversely, the other independent variables concerning board diversity (i.e. women, minority shareholder representatives etc.) are not statistically significant and, as a result, do not influence the investments in innovation.

Keywords: Corporate Governance, Corporate Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Italy

How to cite this paper: Bianchi Martini, S., Corvino, A., & Rigolini, A. (2012). Board diversity and structure: What implications for investments in innovation? Empirical evidence from Italian context. Corporate Ownership & Control, 10(1), 9-25. http://doi.org/10.22495/cocv10i1art1

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