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CEO gender differences in careers and the moderating role of country culture: A meta-analytic investigation

Gang Wang, R. Michael Holmes, Richard A. Devine and John Bishoff

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 2018, vol. 148, issue C, 30-53

Abstract: How and under what conditions do female and male CEOs’ careers differ? The field lacks a clear answer to this question, as extant research has produced mixed findings, many of which also vary across countries. In response, we examine individual- (e.g., personal career success, such as CEO pay) and firm-level (e.g., firm performance) differences in female and male CEOs’ careers, and also how these differences vary across countries with different cultural attributes (specifically uncertainty avoidance and gender egalitarianism). To develop our theoretical explanation, we draw on recent scholarship that has used the well-known demand-supply framework from economics to synthesize extant theory on career differences between women and men. Then, we test our theoretical model with meta-analytic results based on 158 studies in which differences between female and male CEOs, in the firms they lead, and in the outcomes they receive and produce, were examined. Our findings reveal that, compared to male CEOs, female CEOs had more human capital yet led less prestigious firms. Likewise, female CEOs received less favorable personal career success outcomes, and their firms had worse market-based performance despite similar levels of accounting-based performance. In addition, the country culture variables played important roles in moderating many of the career differences. The results of our research enrich understanding of career differences between female and male CEOs and cultural attributes that moderate such differences, suggest the importance of taking into account both demand-side and supply-side perspectives, and offer ample implications for theory, future research, and practice.

Keywords: CEO; Gender; Meta-analysis; Career; Culture (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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