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The Impact of Gender Diversity on the Performance of Business Teams: Evidence from a Field Experiment

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  • Sander Hoogendoorn

    () (Amsterdam School of Economics, University of Amsterdam, 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands; and Tinbergen Institute, 3062 PA Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Hessel Oosterbeek

    () (Amsterdam School of Economics, University of Amsterdam, 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Mirjam van Praag

    () (Amsterdam School of Economics, University of Amsterdam, 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands; and Tinbergen Institute, 3062 PA Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Abstract

This paper reports on a field experiment conducted to estimate the impact of the share of women in business teams on their performance. Teams consisting of undergraduate students in business studies start up a venture as part of their curriculum. We manipulated the gender composition of teams and assigned students randomly to teams, conditional on their gender. We find that teams with an equal gender mix perform better than male-dominated teams in terms of sales and profits. We explore various mechanisms suggested in the literature to explain this positive effect of gender diversity on performance (including complementarities, learning, monitoring, and conflicts) but find no support for them. This paper was accepted by Jesper Sørensen, organizations.

Suggested Citation

  • Sander Hoogendoorn & Hessel Oosterbeek & Mirjam van Praag, 2013. "The Impact of Gender Diversity on the Performance of Business Teams: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(7), pages 1514-1528, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:59:y:2013:i:7:p:1514-1528
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1120.1674
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Chiara Pronzato & Paola Profeta & Valeria Ferraro & Giulia Ferrari, 2016. "Gender Quotas: Challenging the Boards, Performance, and the Stock Market," Working Papers id:11411, eSocialSciences.
    2. J. David Brown & John S. Earle & Mee Jung Kim & Kyung Min Lee, 2017. "High-Growth Entrepreneurship," Working Papers 17-53, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Manthos D. Delis & Chrysovalantis Gaganis & Iftekhar Hasan & Fotios Pasiouras, 2017. "The Effect of Board Directors from Countries with Different Genetic Diversity Levels on Corporate Performance," Management Science, INFORMS, pages 231-249.
    4. Julia Müller & Thorsten Upmann, 2017. "Eigenvalue Productivity: Measurement of Individual Contributions in Teams," CESifo Working Paper Series 6679, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Cuntz, Alexander & Czernich, Nina & Dauchert, Helge & Meurer, Petra & Philipps, Annika, 2015. "Gesellschaftliche Dimensionen von Innovation: Zentrale Fragen und Datenlage," Studien zum deutschen Innovationssystem 18-2015, Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation (EFI) - Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation, Berlin.
    6. Sander Hoogendoorn & Mirjam van Praag, 2012. "Ethnic Diversity and Team Performance: A Field Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-068/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 01 May 2014.
    7. Azmat, Ghazala & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2014. "Gender and the labor market: What have we learned from field and lab experiments?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, pages 32-40.
    8. Zunino, Diego & van Praag, Mirjam C. & Dushnitsky, Gary, 2017. "Badge of Honor or Scarlet Letter? Unpacking Investors' Judgment of Entrepreneurs' Past Failure," IZA Discussion Papers 11017, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. repec:eee:jeborg:v:144:y:2017:i:c:p:121-132 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:ces:ifodic:v:11:y:2013:i:3:p:19097396 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Sander Hoogendoorn & Mirjam van Praag, 2012. "Ethnic Diversity and Team Performance: A Field Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-068/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 01 May 2014.
    12. Joanna Tyrowicz & Jakub Mazurek, 2017. "All on board? New evidence on board gender diversity from a large panel of firms," GRAPE Working Papers 5, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    13. Laura Rosendahl Huber & Randolph Sloof & Mirjam van Praag, 2012. "The Effect of Early Entrepreneurship Education: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-041/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    14. Smaranda Boroş & Lore Gorp & Brecht Cardoen & Robert Boute, 2017. "Breaking Silos: A Field Experiment on Relational Conflict Management in Cross-Functional Teams," Group Decision and Negotiation, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 327-356, March.
    15. Bernd Frick & Anica Rose & André Kolle, 2017. "Gender Diversity is Detrimental to Team Performance: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Working Papers Dissertations 23, Paderborn University, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics.
    16. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo, 2016. "Field Experiments on Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 22014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. McGuinness, Paul B. & Vieito, João Paulo & Wang, Mingzhu, 2017. "The role of board gender and foreign ownership in the CSR performance of Chinese listed firms," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 75-99.
    18. repec:ces:ifodic:v:15:y:2017:i:2:p:19337553 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Huber, Laura Rosendahl & Sloof, Randolph & Van Praag, Mirjam, 2014. "The effect of early entrepreneurship education: Evidence from a field experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 76-97.
    20. Gürerk, Özgür & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Rockenbach, Bettina, 2017. "Endogenously Emerging Gender Diversity in an Experimental Team Work Setting," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168067, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    21. René Böheim & Dominik Grübl & Mario Lackner, 2017. "Gender Differences in Competitiveness," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 15(2), pages 13-17, August.
    22. Dorrough, Angela R. & Leszczyńska, Monika & Barreto, Manuela & Glöckner, Andreas, 2016. "Revealing side effects of quota rules on group cooperation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 136-152.
    23. repec:ces:ifodic:v:15:y:2017:i:2:p:13-17 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. repec:wsi:ijitdm:v:16:y:2017:i:03:n:s0219622017500171 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Michael Kurschilgen & Alexander Morell & Ori Weisel, 2016. "Internal conflict, market uniformity, and transparency in price competition between teams," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2016_18, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender diversity; team performance; field experiment; entrepreneurship education; board effectiveness;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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