Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 89, Issue 4, pp 581-597

First online:

Women and Employee-Elected Board Members, and Their Contributions to Board Control Tasks

  • Morten HuseAffiliated withBI Norwegian School of ManagementTor Vergata University Email author 
  • , Sabina Tacheva NielsenAffiliated withCopenhagen Business School
  • , Inger Marie HagenAffiliated withFAFO

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We present results from a study about women and employee-elected board members, and fill some of the gaps in the literature about their contribution to board effectiveness. The empirical data are from a unique data set of Norwegian firms. Board effectiveness is evaluated in relation to board control tasks, including board corporate social responsibility (CSR) involvement. We found that the contributions of women and employee-elected board members varied depending on the board tasks studied. In the article we also explored the effects of the esteem of the women and employee-elected board members, and we used creative discussions in the boardroom as a mediating variable. Previous board research, including research about women and employee-elected directors, questions if the board members contribute to board effectiveness. The main message from this study is that it may be more important to ask how, rather than if, women and employee-elected board members contribute, and we need to open the black box of actual board behavior to explore how they may contribute.


boards of directors corporate social responsibility women directors employee-elected directors board control tasks esteem creative discussions