Table of Contents

Getting Women on to Corporate Boards

Getting Women on to Corporate Boards

A Snowball Starting in Norway

Edited by Silke Machold, Morten Huse, Katrin Hansen and Marina Brogi

This book provides unique insights into how the idea of quota laws to get women on to corporate boards gained international momentum from its origins in Norway. Invaluable insights are gained through the stories of actors involved in shaping the discourse and practice on women of boards.

Chapter 23: Concluding remarks to Part IV

Katrin Hansen

Subjects: business and management, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, gender and management


For many years Huse and colleagues have dedicated their work to ‘opening the black box’ of boards and understanding the dynamism in relations outside and inside the boardroom. The core of this approach relates to the meso level but boards are perceived as embedded in dynamic contexts and the characteristics of the individual actors are acknowledged as well. Therefore, this stream of research is opening up to a multi-level perspective. As mentioned above, particularly the call for considering deep-level diversity as more important than gender per se redirects the focus onto micro-level phenomena, or ‘microfoundations’ (Zahra and Wright, 2011), which are embedded in social constraints with concomitant effects on meso and macro levels. These interactions are also shown by Ladegård in Chapter 21 regarding individual women’s perceptions in board settings shaped by board compositional factors and the Norwegian quota law. An even more explicitly multi-level approach has recently been presented by Ployhart and Moliterno (2011) who provide an original and ground-breaking contribution to human capital research by developing a multi-level model on the emergence of human capital. Wong et al. (2011) pursue a comparable approach in their research on top-management teams (TMTs) in investigating the interplay between TMTs socio- cognitive characteristics and organizational variables in affecting social performance. They develop the construct of ‘team-level integrative complexity’, viewing this cognitive style as a relatively stable characteristic of teams which arises from integratively complex individuals and/or diversity in perspectives and group social processes (Wong et al., 2011, p. 1209).

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