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Article
Publication date: 3 February 2021

Teodora-Maria Soare, Céline Detilleux and Nick Deschacht

The authors estimate the effect of the gender composition of company boards on firm performance by exploiting variation in the percentage of women after the implementation…

Abstract

Purpose

The authors estimate the effect of the gender composition of company boards on firm performance by exploiting variation in the percentage of women after the implementation of a 2011 Belgian policy reform, which introduced a gender quota for listed companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors analyze the evolution of firm performance between companies that were subjected to the quota law and compare it with the performance of similar firms that were not subjected to the law. This difference-in-difference (DiD) approach allows the authors to avoid the potential bias resulting from unobserved firm characteristics.

Findings

The authors find that the quota policy resulted in the replacement of about one male director by a female one in the average firm between 2010 and 2017. However, this increase in diversity appears to have negatively affected some firm performance indicators. The authors find statistically significant negative effects for 10 out of the 23 financial indicators included in this study, while the other 13 indicators showed no significant effect.

Originality/value

The originality of this research lies in both the methodology and the findings. The policy reform that the authors study can be regarded as a natural experiment so that the DiD method provides estimates of the causal effect of the gender composition of company boards on firm performance. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that presents causal evidence of negative effects of gender quota on organizational performance. These results cast doubts on the business case argument for gender quota and show that results from correlational studies are likely to be biased upward.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2019

Katie Goeman and Nick Deschacht

Though different claims are made in the literature with regard to learning approach differences between mature and non-mature university students, the issue seems to bare…

Abstract

Purpose

Though different claims are made in the literature with regard to learning approach differences between mature and non-mature university students, the issue seems to bare detailed study. The purpose of this paper is to report about an investigation of mature and non-mature university students’ learning strategies. The authors examine the relationship between age and learning strategy, and assess to what extent this relationship is mediated by individual and contextual factors.

Design/methodology/approach

Using original survey data on 448 university students enroled in Social Sciences programmes in Belgium, this paper examines the relationship between age and learning strategy and assesses to what extent this relationship is mediated by individual and contextual factors.

Findings

The results of the multinomial logistic regression show significant differences in learning strategies between both groups of learners. The analyses suggest that mature students are 15.3 percentage points more likely than regular students to adopt a navigator learning strategy. The navigator strategy develops in a non-linear way between the ages 30 and 37. Moreover, only a small part of the learning strategies of mature learners can be explained by mediating factors, with the job involvement playing a particular role.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes to the body of knowledge concerning the assessment and classification of learning strategies, including a focus on mediators affecting such strategies. The results are confined to only two higher education (HE) institutions. Furthermore, there may be a non-response bias; it is plausible that we miss among the respondents a particular type of mature students such as those that do not like to participate or those that have dropped out of their master’s programme. By means of larger, random samples in future research we should verify this study’s conclusions. This study did not include motivation as a variable. However, it might also explain why mature and non-mature students’ learning approaches differ. Further research could entangle motivational components in relation to learners’ studying approaches.

Practical implications

The research results contribute to our understanding to what extent mature and non-mature students’ learning strategies differ and which mediators are prevalent in explaining these differences. It helps to understand how universities can create a supportive academic environment for mature learners.

Social implications

The authors found significant differences with regard to learning strategies between mature and non-mature university students. Furthermore, having a professional occupation plays a mediating role in explaining learning strategy differences. The study raises the issue of learner-centred HE, with considerations about differentiated designs of learning environments, programmes and support services targeting students of different ages. By integrating the Assessing the Learning Strategies of Adults instrument, instructional designers can identify learning strategies and take appropriate action to accommodate learners. Additionally, awareness of one’s own learning strategy strengthens mature students’ decision making in self-directed learning environments. In that respect, the authors note also that higher pedagogical flexibility, i.e. more varied educational formats, tracks and study arrangements, ensures adult learners’ access, persistence and retention in HE.

Originality/value

Previous studies suggest that student learning approaches are distinguishable, but did not yet focus on differences between non-mature and mature students. As the authors include graduate students in this study, the focus is on a group which has not been studied previously.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Nick Deschacht, Ann-Sophie De Pauw and Stijn Baert

The purpose of this paper is to test hypotheses regarding the importance of employee preferences in explaining sticky floors, the pattern that women are, compared to men…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test hypotheses regarding the importance of employee preferences in explaining sticky floors, the pattern that women are, compared to men, less likely to start to climb the job ladder.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use original data obtained using a survey and a vignette study in which participants had to score the likeliness with which they would accept job offers with different promotion characteristics.

Findings

The main findings are that young female professionals have a less pronounced preference for more demanding and less routinary jobs and that this effect is mediated by the greater risk aversion and anticipated gender discrimination among women. No gender differences were found in the relative likeliness to apply for jobs that involve a promotion in terms of job authority.

Research limitations/implications

The vignette method assumes that artificial settings with low stakes do not bias results. Another limitation follows from the focus on inter-organizational promotions among young professionals, which raises the question to what extent the results can be generalized to broader settings.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature on gender differences in careers by measuring the impact of employee preferences on gender differences in career decisions.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 38 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Tanja Verheyen, Nick Deschacht and Marie-Anne Guerry

The purpose of this paper is to determine the occurrence of job level, salary and job authority demotions in the workplace through the analysis of Belgian Statistics on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine the occurrence of job level, salary and job authority demotions in the workplace through the analysis of Belgian Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (SILC)-data of 2007-2011.

Design/methodology/approach

Three hypotheses are tested: H1: there is a gender inequality in job authority demotions. H2: the level of education and the probability of being subject to a job level, salary or job authority demotion are negatively correlated. H3: age is negatively correlated with job level, salary or job authority demotion probabilities. The cross-sectional data of the SILC cover a specific time period with data on inter alia living conditions. The longitudinal data give information on inter alia income and non-monetary variables over a period of four years. The authors estimate multivariate regression models for binary demotion variables. These analyses allow the authors to estimate the odds of being demoted. The authors discuss the demotion rates, the bivariate correlations and the regression analysis.

Findings

The data analysis result in the fact that base salary demotions are not commonly applied as literature and the Belgian law on salary protection endorses. Fringe benefits demotions, as for instance the abolition of a company car or a bonus are, however, more frequent. There is a gender gap with regard to job authority demotion. Highly educated respondents are less confronted with job authority demotions. Age is negatively correlated with base salary/fringe benefits or job authority demotion probabilities, but not with job-level demotions. H1 is thus confirmed. H2 and H3 only partly confirmed.

Research limitations/implications

Several analyses were restricted because the EU-SILC did not question all dimensions of demotion in detail.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the scarce literature on demotion and to empirical studies on demotions regarding job level, salary and job authority.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 45 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 February 2016

Abstract

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 45 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Content available
Article
Publication date: 6 February 2017

Abstract

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 46 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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