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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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    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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