Unveiling the influence of institutional quality on board gender diversity and corporate environmental, social, and governance disputes in China

Business Ethics, the Environment and Responsibility (forthcoming)
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Abstract

This paper unravels an unprecedented interplay between board gender diversity (BGD) and corporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disputes among Chinese A-share-listed nonfinancial companies from 2017 to 2021. Framed within a knowledge-based and sensemaking perspective of institutional frameworks, the research not only illuminates the profound impact of internal (corporate governance ratings) and external (regional institutional development) institutional factors on this intricate relationship but also brings to light a paradigm-shifting revelation. The study employed a diverse set of empirical tests, ranging from ordinary least squares regression to advanced methods such as the generalized method of moments, two-stage least squares, and propensity score matching, providing a nuanced and comprehensive analysis. The findings highlight the pivotal role of female directors in significantly mitigating ESG disputes. A mechanism analysis further uncovers that internal and external institutional quality are potent positive moderators in shaping the BGD–ESG dispute dynamic. This research has profound implications, providing valuable insights for stakeholders, policymakers, and scholars, offering a comprehensive understanding of how gender diversity fosters sustainability while unravelling the intricate tapestry of internal and external institutional dynamics that shape ESG outcomes.

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Khwaja Naveed
Open University of the Netherlands
Xinhui Sun
Nankai University

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