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Networking: a business for women

Alessandro Manello (), Maurizio Cisi, Francesco Devicienti () and Davide Vannoni ()
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Maurizio Cisi: University of Turin

Small Business Economics, 2020, vol. 55, issue 2, No 3, 329-348

Abstract: Abstract This paper uses firm-level data and Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) methods to investigate the effects of participation in formal networking activities and of female representation in leadership positions on firm’s economic efficiency. Our findings show that firms belonging to a network have a higher level of technical efficiency (i.e., the position of network members is closer to the technical efficient frontier), while the presence of women in senior roles (CEO, president, or member of the board of directors) is associated to lower efficiency scores. However, the observed performance strongly increases when firms with women in top positions participate to networks, hinting at superior returns for female networking. This interaction effect is found to be stronger in female-intensive working environments and networks, as well as in innovative and digital intensive sectors.

Keywords: Firm networks; Female leaders; Technical efficiency; Data envelopment analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C61 D85 J16 L25 L26 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s11187-019-00300-3

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