Board Dynamics and the Influence of Professional Background, Gender and Ethnic Diversity of Directors

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Abstract

Exploring the appointment of directors of different professional backgrounds, levels of independence, age, gender and ethnicity, this paper develops a taxonomy describing what is meant by diversity on the board and its implications for decision-making. Board configuration is considered in terms of empirical evidence highlighting the criteria used in appointing directors and the associated implications of social capital for board dynamics. Issues raised include the influence of these on board performance and the ability of individual directors to make an effective contribution as board members. The conclusions highlight the various mythologies associated with the value of board diversity.

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