Faculty Research

Adam Kleinbaum
Associate Professor of Business Administration

In my research on the antecedents of social networks in organizations, I have explored gender differences in network structure. I examined hundreds of millions of email communications in an IT company and found that women have larger and farther-reaching networks than men. Specifically, women’s local networks look the same as men’s, both in terms of size and gender distribution of contacts. But unlike men, women also possess a set of contacts with other women outside of their business units and offices.

Connie Helfat
J. Brian Quinn Professor in Technology and Strategy

In my research on gender representation of top managers in the Fortune 1000 by job function and level in the top management hierarchy, I found that as of the year 2000, women were lower down in the top management hierarchy, and were underrepresented relative to men in line and finance positions. Within the non-finance staff positions, women were overrepresented in accounting and legal, as well as in public and human relations. Based on this analysis of the pipeline to the top, we predicted that it would take many years to see a significant number of women CEO’s in the Fortune 1000 and 14 years later our predictions have turnout out to be accurate.

Esben Eckbo
Tuck Centennial Professor of Finance; Founding Director, Lindenauer Center for Corporate Governance

Karin Thorburn
Visiting Professor of Finance; Lindenauer Research Associate, Lindenauer Center for Corporate Governance; Research Chair Professor of Finance at the Norwegian School of Economics, Bergen, Norway

In 2005, Norway pioneered the introduction of a board gender quota for all publicly traded Norwegian companies. The quota requires at least 40% of directors to be from each gender, and firms were given to 2008 to fully comply — or face forced liquidation (!). In our research, we examine whether the Norwegian quota, which has since been adopted throughout much of Europe, has significantly reduced the market value of the public companies listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Our robust empirical tests reject that the quota was reduced firm value. Moreover, using uniquely comprehensive data on director networks in Norway, we document the rise of female power in the boardroom, and the presence of spillover effects on the fraction of female chairmen and CEOs. We show that female director network power is now approaching that of male directors.

Sydney Finkelstein
Associate Dean for Executive Education; Steven Roth Professor of Management; Faculty Director, Center for Leadership

The most significant shift in leadership is unlikely to come as a result of technology, a new game-changing theory, or changes in the way top schools prepare future leaders, says Sydney Finkelstein, Steven Roth Professor of Management. Rather it will be the inevitable result of a simple fact: Girls today are outperforming boys.

The discrepancy is so great that many colleges and universities have improved their average tests scores simply by admitting more women. It’s no longer unusual for undergraduate classes to be 60 percent female, or even more.

Today about one third of students at elite business schools are women. Finkelstein believes that percentage will increase sharply in the coming decades because the pool of qualified women is now much larger than ever before. “The march of the numbers is going to be powerful, and we’re going to see more and more women as senior executives and as CEOs,” Finkelstein says.
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