Context/research gap tackled/why it is important and for whom Is innovation driven by diversity within firms? This is a debated question in literature. In our paper we answer to this question by focusing on the board of directors’ (BOD). It is the most important governing body, and members of the board use their knowledge and skills, experience, and networks not only to effectively monitor and provide the company with valuable resources (Hillman and Dalziel, 2003), but also to setting company objectives and goals, among which innovative strategies (Berezinets et al., 2016). Consistently with Midavaine et al. (2016), we study the BOD as managing decision unit of analysis. As the BOD decide as a team, based on information to bear collectively, the focus is on the board composition/heterogeneity/diversity. If all members of a firm board have the same characteristics, they may end up making decisions quickly, but they also may draw on more limited information. Board heterogeneity may give rise to disagreement and conflict, but a heterogeneous composition of the board of a firm may enhance information exchange, aiding in the formulation of firm strategy (Hillman & Dalziel 2003). The BOD’s diversity is examined under an intellectual capital (IC) perspective, due to the nature of our research question. IC is a knowledge related assets and activities (Veltri and Silvestri, 2015), it has been identified in the management literature as a source of innovation (Kianto et al., 2017). On the other hand, innovation is related to knowledge, as the innovation processes consist of exploiting new ideas based on the creation and use of knowledge assets. Summary of previous work in this area and extant gap IC and innovation concepts, which are related by knowledge, are mainly treated separately by researchers in literature. The results depict a general fragmented and unsystematic vision of the relationship between these topics. Successful and competitive companies continuously introduce innovations based on the technologies and knowledge derived by organizational culture and structure (structural capital – SC), from the network of relationships (relational capital – RC), and the experience and skills of their staff (human capital – HC). Taken together HC, SC and RC are known as IC. To explain the implication of BOD IC heterogeneity for company innovation we employ the resource-based view (RBV) in its evolved version named as Intellectual Capital Based View (ICBV) and the Upper Echelons Theory (UET). How members of a board search for relevant information is determined in large part, as Upper Echelons theory suggests (e.g. Hambrick and Mason, 1984; Post and Byron, 2015), by the characteristics of those who search. Nevertheless, but the added effect of board member characteristics such as gender, experience, education, age will only contribute to the effectiveness of strategic decision making when they differ from the characteristics of others. One of the most studied source of diversity in literature is gender diversity. We focus on the women directors both because literature provides evidence that female directors make the difference when a firm’s strategy is focused on innovation (Dezso and Gaddis Ross, 2012) and also because there is a literature gap in the research on women directors’ IC and innovation (Le Loarne-Lemaire et al., 2021). Research design: method(s) employed In the article we investigate the association between the women directors’ IC and the innovation strategic decision, proxied with the R&D investments. We address the research question by positing the following hypothesis: H1: Women’s BOD IC affects R&D investments To empirically test our research hypothesis, we employed Tobit model as the most suitable econometric choice to test our hypotheses (Amore and Murtinu, 2021). We included both year and industry dummies in all models to control for period effects and to account for industry differences and also firm and corporate governance control variables (Testa et al., 2018) and run our regression for a sample of Italian listed companies for the 2003-2017 period. Findings: what are the main outcomes of the research? The (expected) findings of our research are that the women’s BOD IC positively affects R&D investments. Implications for academics and practitioners As regards the implications, the expected positive impact of board women directors on innovation means that firms should include more women on boards and regulations should sustain, as they already do, the enhancement of their number

Women’s Board intellectual capital and innovation. Is there a hidden link?

stefania veltri
;
romilda mazzotta;
2022

Abstract

Context/research gap tackled/why it is important and for whom Is innovation driven by diversity within firms? This is a debated question in literature. In our paper we answer to this question by focusing on the board of directors’ (BOD). It is the most important governing body, and members of the board use their knowledge and skills, experience, and networks not only to effectively monitor and provide the company with valuable resources (Hillman and Dalziel, 2003), but also to setting company objectives and goals, among which innovative strategies (Berezinets et al., 2016). Consistently with Midavaine et al. (2016), we study the BOD as managing decision unit of analysis. As the BOD decide as a team, based on information to bear collectively, the focus is on the board composition/heterogeneity/diversity. If all members of a firm board have the same characteristics, they may end up making decisions quickly, but they also may draw on more limited information. Board heterogeneity may give rise to disagreement and conflict, but a heterogeneous composition of the board of a firm may enhance information exchange, aiding in the formulation of firm strategy (Hillman & Dalziel 2003). The BOD’s diversity is examined under an intellectual capital (IC) perspective, due to the nature of our research question. IC is a knowledge related assets and activities (Veltri and Silvestri, 2015), it has been identified in the management literature as a source of innovation (Kianto et al., 2017). On the other hand, innovation is related to knowledge, as the innovation processes consist of exploiting new ideas based on the creation and use of knowledge assets. Summary of previous work in this area and extant gap IC and innovation concepts, which are related by knowledge, are mainly treated separately by researchers in literature. The results depict a general fragmented and unsystematic vision of the relationship between these topics. Successful and competitive companies continuously introduce innovations based on the technologies and knowledge derived by organizational culture and structure (structural capital – SC), from the network of relationships (relational capital – RC), and the experience and skills of their staff (human capital – HC). Taken together HC, SC and RC are known as IC. To explain the implication of BOD IC heterogeneity for company innovation we employ the resource-based view (RBV) in its evolved version named as Intellectual Capital Based View (ICBV) and the Upper Echelons Theory (UET). How members of a board search for relevant information is determined in large part, as Upper Echelons theory suggests (e.g. Hambrick and Mason, 1984; Post and Byron, 2015), by the characteristics of those who search. Nevertheless, but the added effect of board member characteristics such as gender, experience, education, age will only contribute to the effectiveness of strategic decision making when they differ from the characteristics of others. One of the most studied source of diversity in literature is gender diversity. We focus on the women directors both because literature provides evidence that female directors make the difference when a firm’s strategy is focused on innovation (Dezso and Gaddis Ross, 2012) and also because there is a literature gap in the research on women directors’ IC and innovation (Le Loarne-Lemaire et al., 2021). Research design: method(s) employed In the article we investigate the association between the women directors’ IC and the innovation strategic decision, proxied with the R&D investments. We address the research question by positing the following hypothesis: H1: Women’s BOD IC affects R&D investments To empirically test our research hypothesis, we employed Tobit model as the most suitable econometric choice to test our hypotheses (Amore and Murtinu, 2021). We included both year and industry dummies in all models to control for period effects and to account for industry differences and also firm and corporate governance control variables (Testa et al., 2018) and run our regression for a sample of Italian listed companies for the 2003-2017 period. Findings: what are the main outcomes of the research? The (expected) findings of our research are that the women’s BOD IC positively affects R&D investments. Implications for academics and practitioners As regards the implications, the expected positive impact of board women directors on innovation means that firms should include more women on boards and regulations should sustain, as they already do, the enhancement of their number
Women directors, R&D investments; Board Intellectual capital (IC) diversity, Tobit; moderation factors
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/332898
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