Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between women on the board of directors and firm performance in a comparative analysis between Italy and Spain. Design/methodology/approach The generalized method of moment is employed to examine this relationship in a sample of 1,393 firm-year observations. Findings The results show that the presence of women on the board has a positive impact on the performance of Italian and Spanish firms. However, when the whole sample is divided into Italy and Spain, some results are remarkable. For Spain, the presence of women on the board has a positive influence on firm performance, whereas for Italy the authors find a negative and significant effect on firm performance. This study also finds that the “masculinity” dimension has a negative impact on firm performance. Practical implications The results of this study have several practical implications. First, masculinity differences within the countries can have a large impact on firm performance and can explain some differences between similar countries. Second, the legal system of countries might not explain adequately some differences in the decision-making process. Third, cultural values and thinking styles, in terms of masculinity, might better explain why the results on the relationship between female directors and firm performance are mixed. Fourth, the findings suggest that it is very important to promote gender equality, not only by passing laws but also taking action about the educational system. Originality/value To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that investigates the relationship between female directors and firm performance between Italy and Spain considering the cultural differences in term of “masculinity.”

Female directors and firm performance in Italian and Spanish listed firms. Does masculinity matter?

Rossi F
2019-01-01

Abstract

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between women on the board of directors and firm performance in a comparative analysis between Italy and Spain. Design/methodology/approach The generalized method of moment is employed to examine this relationship in a sample of 1,393 firm-year observations. Findings The results show that the presence of women on the board has a positive impact on the performance of Italian and Spanish firms. However, when the whole sample is divided into Italy and Spain, some results are remarkable. For Spain, the presence of women on the board has a positive influence on firm performance, whereas for Italy the authors find a negative and significant effect on firm performance. This study also finds that the “masculinity” dimension has a negative impact on firm performance. Practical implications The results of this study have several practical implications. First, masculinity differences within the countries can have a large impact on firm performance and can explain some differences between similar countries. Second, the legal system of countries might not explain adequately some differences in the decision-making process. Third, cultural values and thinking styles, in terms of masculinity, might better explain why the results on the relationship between female directors and firm performance are mixed. Fourth, the findings suggest that it is very important to promote gender equality, not only by passing laws but also taking action about the educational system. Originality/value To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that investigates the relationship between female directors and firm performance between Italy and Spain considering the cultural differences in term of “masculinity.”
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3059360
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