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Female directors and impression management in sustainability reporting

Isabel-María García-Sánchez, Oscar Suárez-Fernández and Jennifer Martínez-Ferrero

International Business Review, 2019, vol. 28, issue 2, 359-374

Abstract: This study proposes a new research approach to examine the relationship between board diversity, in terms of gender differences, and the quality of sustainability reporting, measured by several aspects: balance, conciseness, clarity, comparability and reliability of information. In addition, this study examines the moderating role that institutional factors exert on this relationship through the stakeholder orientation of the country of origin. The research questions are examined using an international sample of 273 firm-year observations from 2006 to 2014, applying several regression models for panel data. Our evidence is consistent with the existence of positive externalities associated with the presence of women in supervisory and senior management positions. That is, we evidence how boards with greater female representation decrease the risk of impression management strategies on sustainability disclosure. Female directors are positively associated with more balanced, comparable and reliable information; although, they are also associated with less precise and clear information, given their narrative character. Moreover, evidence reports that these effects are greater in firms located in more stakeholder-oriented countries. Results are robust for alternative gender diversity measures.

Keywords: Sustainability disclosure; Female directors; Impression management (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2018.10.007

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