The Ballet of Corporate Boards: Reflections on Women Board Members and their Contribution to the Company [Tesi di dottorato]
Pisa University, 2018-02-09

Board of directors is the main element of inquiry in this dissertation. It is part of the corporate governance, and it is often considered the link between several actors who are involved with the firm (shareholders, managers, employees, banks and others). Following numerous calls (Daily et al., 2003; Huse, 2007; Huse et al., 2011) for exploring the actual behaviour of board of directors through different perspectives, in this dissertation I have tried to include board of directors in the behavioural perspective (Hambrick et al., 2008; van Ees et al., 2009; Huse et al., 2011). Indeed, board are often treated as a ‘black box’ with the human side not included (Huse, 2007). According to this view, corporate governance concerns relationships among stakeholders in and around the corporation in terms of structure, interactions and decisions (van Ees and Postma, 2004). The dissertation is hence mainly developed around the third element that concerns the making and shaping organizational decisions and processes through which these decisions evolve within the boardroom (van Ees et al., 2009). The ambiguous findings achieved in corporate governance researches highlight that it is necessary to focus also on actual decision-making behaviour and the underlying cognitive processes of board (e.g. Forbes and Milliken, 1999; Rindova, 1999; Pye and Pettigrew, 2005). According to Forbes and Milliken (1999), indeed, the output that boards produce is entirely cognitive in nature. In line with these perspectives, I have considered interesting to embrace also cognitive perspectives in order to explore the actual behaviour of board of directors. Moreover, after the requirement of different European countries to include a gender quota into the boardroom, its composition has experienced a relevant change. Indeed, the number of women appointed has increased enormously in almost all European boards. Following this change within the boardroom, hence, the study of the behaviour of board becomes even more interesting as diversity enters as a new variable able to change how actual boards behave and how decisions are made. Therefore, I have been interested to research on board of directors and particularly on women on board. In the first paper that I have presented in this dissertation, I have considered women capital in terms of human and social capital (Becker, 1964; Adler and Kwon, 2002) that can, according to board capital literature (Hillman and Dalziel, 2003; Haynes and Hillman, 2010), improve the board effectiveness but thus its appointment within a board. In the second paper, I have explored the interactions of a woman director with herself as a board member and with other women directors. In particular, I have investigated how women directors perceive themselves through their self-evaluation. The core self-evaluation construct (Hiller and Hambrick, 2005; Judge et al., 2001) has helped me to answer to this reflection. After I have tried to explore also women interactions building on the queen bee behaviour perspective (Derks et al., 2016). Finally, in the third paper, hence, according to a dynamic capabilities perspective (Teece, 2007; Helfat et al., 2007; Helfat and Martin, 2015), I have tried to investigate if women directors may present a double effect in the execution of the strategic task (Forbes and Milliken, 1999; Williams and O’Reilly, 1998; Triana et al., 2014), With this dissertation, I aim at making interesting reflections on board of directors and, in particular, on women on board. Indeed, as suggested by Huse et al. (2011), I have tried to investigate what happens when women are appointed in the board of directors. In line with this perspective, I have firstly considered board members as active actors involved in the firm whereby they actively perform the typical tasks assigned to boards. According to Huse (2007), indeed, board members can contribute to value creation thanks to their involvement in the different parts of a company’s value chain and through their personal and intangible skills and competences that can represent a valuable resource for the firm (Forbes and Milliken, 1999; Huse, 2007). In doing this, I hope to contribute to add arguments for reaching a more aware gender equality in the boardroom.

diritti: info:eu-repo/semantics/embargoedAccess
Bianchi Martini, Silvio
Dalli, Daniele
Chiucchi, Maria Serena
Liguori, Mariannunziata

Tesi di dottorato. | Lingua: it. | Paese: | BID: TD20017584