Publication Date

9-11-2014

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This study examines how and when nonprofit board performance is impacted by board diversity. Specifically, we investigate board diversity policies and practices as well as board inclusion behaviors as mediating mechanisms for the influence of age, gender, and racial/ethnic diversity of the board on effective board governance practices. The empirical analysis, using a sample of 1,456 nonprofit board chief executive officers, finds that board governance practices are directly influenced by the gender and racial diversity of the board and that board inclusion behaviors together with diversity policies and practices mediate the influence of the board's gender and racial diversity on internal and external governance practices. Additionally, we found an interaction effect that indicates when boards have greater gender diversity, the negative impact of racial diversity on governance practices is mitigated. The findings suggest that board governance can be improved with more diverse membership, but only if the board behaves inclusively and there are policies and practices in place to allow the diverse members to have an impact.

Publication Title

Journal of Business Ethics

Volume

133

Issue

1

First Page

179

Last Page

191

DOI

10.1007/s10551-014-2352-z

Version

pre-print, post-print (with 12 month embargo)

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