A Multilevel Model of Minority Director Participation Linking Board Diversity and Firm Performance
A board’s work is largely dependent on the collective contributions of individual directors; thus, greater board diversity, with increased knowledge complementarity, should encourage firm performance. However, empirical evidence of a board diversity/firm performance relationship is weak and inconsistent. We address this issue theoretically and empirically by moving from a monolithic, compositional view of board diversity to a multi-level approach. We argue that the realization of diversity benefits is likely dependent on individual and board processes that help transform the potential value of diverse directors into realized board and firm benefits. Drawing from the boards and team diversity literatures, we develop a multi-level model to investigate the antecedents and consequences of minority directors’ participation. Strong empirical support offers several contributions to the literature.