A selection of interesting research and articles we found recently.

Do board age and gender diversity matter? An Australian test
Muhammad Ali, Yin Ng and Carol Kulik sought to resolve some of the inconsistent findings of past board diversity research through a test of competing linear and curvilinear diversity–performance predictions. This research focuses on board age and gender diversity, and presents a positive linear prediction based on resource dependence theory, a negative linear prediction based on social identity theory, and an inverted U-shaped curvilinear prediction based on the integration of resource dependence theory with social identity theory.

The predictions were tested using archival data on 288 large organisations listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, with a 1-year time lag between diversity (age and gender) and performance (employee productivity and return on assets). The results indicate a positive linear relationship between gender diversity and employee productivity, a negative linear relationship between age diversity and return on assets, and an inverted U-shaped curvilinear relationship between age diversity and return on assets. The findings provide additional evidence for the business case for board gender diversity and refine the business case for board age diversity.

More information is available at: Muhammad Ali, Yin Lu Ng and Carol T. Kulik.  Board Age and Gender Diversity: A Test of Competing Linear and Curvilinear Predictions. Journal of Business Ethics, 2014, 125(3), 497-512.


Does board gender diversity improve financial outcomes?
Not universally, according to this study. The growing regulatory pressure on firms worldwide to address the under-representation of women in senior positions led Larelle Chapple and Jacquelyn Humphrey to examine outcomes in a jurisdiction that chose to issue recommendations and disclosure requirements, rather than use quotas. Does diversity have a financial impact? Again not really, according to these researchers after they compared the performance of firms with gender diverse boards to those without. Overall, they found only a weak negative correlation between having multiple women on the board and performance, except in some industries where diversity is positively correlated with financial performance.

Read more at: Larelle Chapple and Jacquelyn E. Humphrey. Does Board Gender Diversity Have a Financial Impact? Evidence Using Stock Portfolio Performance. Journal of Business Ethics, 2014, 122(4), 709-723.


Executives’ religiosity affects CSR in complex ways
Corrie Schouten, Johan Graafland and Muel Kaptein examined the relationship between Christian religiosity, attitudes towards corporate social responsibility (CSR), and the CSR behavior of executives. They distinguished four types of CSR attitudes and five types of CSR behavior. Based on empirical research conducted among 473 Dutch executives, they found that CSR attitudes mediate the influence of religiosity on CSR behaviour. Intrinsic religiosity positively affects ethical CSR attitude and negatively affects the financial CSR attitude, whereas extrinsic religiosity stimulates the philanthropic CSR attitude. Financial, ethical, and philanthropic CSR attitudes significantly affect some types of CSR behaviors. However, because religiosity has opposing effects on the three attitudes, the overall effect of the three attitudes is negligible. Furthermore, the researchers report a direct negative influence of intrinsic religiosity on diversity and a direct positive influence on charity.

See: Corrie Mazereeuw-van der Duijn Schouten, Johan Graafland and Muel Kaptein. Religiosity, CSR Attitudes, and CSR Behavior: An Empirical Study of Executives’ Religiosity and CSR. Journal of Business Ethics, 2014, 123(3), 437-459.


How do temptation, love of money and private/public context affect unethical intentions and cheating among American and Chinese students?
Jingqiu Chen, Thomas Li-Ping Tang and Ningyu Tang set about answering this question. They first tested a theoretical model involving temptation, monetary intelligence (love of money), a mediator, and unethical intentions in open classrooms on 492 American and 256 Chinese students. For the whole sample, temptation related to low unethical intentions indirectly. Multi-group analyses reveal that temptation predicts unethical intentions both indirectly and directly for male American students only; but not for female American students. For Chinese students, both paths are non-significant. Love of money contributes significantly to unethical intentions for all students. In a second study using money as a temptation and providing opportunities to cheat on a matrix task, most Chinese students (78.4 %) did not cheat in open classrooms; supporting survey and structural equation modeling results from Study 1. However, students in private cubicles cheat significantly more (53.4 %) than those in open classrooms (21.6 %). Finally, students’ love of money attitude predicts cheating. The results shed new light on the impact of temptation and love of money as dispositional traits, money as a temptation, and environmental context (public vs. private) on unethical intentions and cheating behaviours.

For more information read: Jingqiu Chen, Thomas Li-Ping Tang and Ningyu Tang. Temptation, Monetary Intelligence (Love of Money), and Environmental Context on Unethical Intentions and Cheating. Journal of Business Ethics, 2014, 123(2), 197-219.