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Family and state ownership, internationalization and corporate board-gender diversity: Evidence from China and India

Abubakr Saeed (Management Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Amna Yousaf (Management Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Jaithen Alharbi (College of Business and Economics, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar)

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management

ISSN: 2059-5794

Article publication date: 2 May 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

In times of vivid debates on the inclusion of women on boards, the purpose of this paper is to shed a new light on the composition of boardrooms in emerging market firms by investigating how family and state ownership affect board-gender diversity in the emerging economies.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses Tobit regression to examine the effect of firm ownership on board-gender diversity. A panel data set of Chinese and Indian firms for the period 2004-2013 is used to conduct this study.

Findings

The results show a negative and significant impact of family and state ownership on the proportion of women directors. However, this relationship is seen to be reverse if the firm is operating in international markets. Notably, a negative relationship was seen to persist between ownership structure and board-gender diversity for both female executive and independent board members, whereas a positive impact of internationalization was observed only for independent female directors.

Originality/value

This research addresses the board-gender diversity issue in emerging economies by focusing on firm characteristics which are unique to their business context. Further, this study identifies the conditions under which emerging market firms assimilate or proscribe women on their boards by recognizing the salient features of firms from emerging markets. Hence, in doing so, new evidence is added to the studies on the determinants of board-gender diversity. Lastly, it advances the earlier literature based on resource dependency and agency views and demonstrates the importance of internationalization for the inclusion of women on corporate boards.

Keywords

Citation

Saeed, A., Yousaf, A. and Alharbi, J. (2017), "Family and state ownership, internationalization and corporate board-gender diversity: Evidence from China and India", Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 251-270. https://doi.org/10.1108/CCSM-11-2015-0159

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited