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Women on Corporate Boards - Book Report/Review Example

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Women on Corporate Boards

Per se, the authors concentrated on the boards of 1000 US companies and established the research dependency theory. According to Pfeffer and Salancik (1978) research dependency theory states that "the elemental structural characteristics of environments are concentration, the extent to which power and authority in the environment are widely dispersed; munificence, or the availability or scarcity of critical resources; and interconnectedness, the number and pattern of linkages, or connections, among organizations. These structural characteristics, in turn, determine the relationships among social actors - specifically, the degree of conflict and interdependence present in the social system. Conflict and interdependence, in turn, determine the uncertainty the organization confronts" (Pfeffer and Salancik, 1978, p. 68). Intellectuals of dependence theory have also centred on different areas of boards and organization but did not take up this particular area for study. The authors of this study have attempted to make two contributions of which the first is they used dependence theory to identify gender role on boards; and second, they did work on set of forecasters that disclose why organizations are more varied in terms of female directors' representation. Thus the main objectives of the authors of this study were to test four hypotheses as follows:
There are no explicit questions which the authors pursued to answer. ...
iii. Whether a company has females on its boards which is in proportion to its diversity;
iv. Whether network linkages with more females on board has positive female representation;
Main Queries Addressed by the Study
There are no explicit questions which the authors pursued to answer. Their main objective was to test the four hypotheses as stated above and to prove them. The study by the authors was conducted to prove the four hypotheses based on their specific assumptions with respect to female representation on boards as directors.
Fundamental Postulation of Study:
The basic assumptions which the authors have made to test their hypothesis is connected to a critical analysis of dependence theory and partly based on the theory of legitimacy. According to Meyer and Rowan (1977) organisations combine socially-legitimated logical elements in their proper structure in order to make the most of their resources and endurance capacities. They declare: "Independent of their productive efficiency, organisations which exist in highly elaborated institutional environments and succeed in becoming isomorphic with these environments gain the legitimacy and resources needed to survive" (p. 352).
Some of the assumptions of dependence theories as stated by Milliken & Martins (1996) is that all other things being balanced then gender variety within boards of directors adds legitimacy to an organization. There are three major areas of dependency theory which are conceived as higher benefits for a firm to develop through greater links with other firms: counsel and advice, legitimacy, and support in certain areas from other firms. Thus more female representation is correlated to the assumption with the examples of General Motor's spotlight on female representation on ...Show more


The study of women on boards of different companies is an area which lacks research with regard to the present day global situation. Even though research has been carried on in a few areas concerning directors and company requirements, role of women on boards has not been examined substantially…
Author : pfritsch
Women on Corporate Boards essay example
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