Understanding the spread of national public policies to increase the percentage of women on boards is often presented using different types of institutional theory logic. However, the importance of the political games influencing these decisions has not received the same attention. In this article, we look beyond the institutional setting by focusing on the role of actors. We explore processes that include who the critical actors that drive and determine these policies are, and what motivates them to push for change. We employ a processual design approach using a longitudinal country-comparative case study exploring the case of Norway, England, Germany and Italy. We map the political games, both inside and outside legislative areas, including the micro-politics among various actors and groups of actors in the selected countries. Data are collected through participation observations, interviews and text analyses. The study contributes by filling important gaps in the literature by embedding the discussion about women on boards in politicking and national public policies and by introducing dynamic perspectives. Finally, by using a processual design approach, we capture the reality of the women on board debates at different points of time and in different actor and motivational contexts. The study has consequences for how policy-makers and businesses may follow up and act, based on the debates.
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We define opportunistic researchers as researchers who are more interested in maximising their own output rather than contributing to the discipline, impact or policy-driven changes.
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Appendix 1: Actor Interactions Norway
Appendix 2: Actor Interactions England
Appendix 3: Actor Interactions Germany
Appendix 4: Actor Interactions Italy
See Table 4.
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Seierstad, C., Warner-Søderholm, G., Torchia, M. et al. Increasing the Number of Women on Boards: The Role of Actors and Processes. J Bus Ethics 141, 289–315 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-015-2715-0
- Women on boards (WoB)
- National public policies