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School of Business | Department of Marketing and Management | International Business | 2008
Thesis number: 12032
National and gender diversity in the board of directors - the case of Outokumpu
Author: Inkeroinen, Elina
Title: National and gender diversity in the board of directors - the case of Outokumpu
Year: 2008  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing and Management
Academic subject: International Business
Index terms: kansainvälinen; international; hallitukset; boards of directors; sukupuoli; gender; naiset; women; kansainvälistyminen; internationalization
Pages: 112
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_12032.pdf pdf  size:691 KB (707449)
Key terms: board of directors; board diversity; gender diversity; national diversity; internationalization
Objectives of the Thesis The main theme of this thesis is board diversity with a focus on gender and national diversity. In addition, the main reasons why companies diversify their boards are looked at as well as the recruiting process and roles and contributions of female and foreign board members.

Methodology and Data Collection Case study was chosen as a research method for this thesis because of its unique capabilities in explaining and describing complex phenomenon, which board diversity is. The case studied in this thesis is the Outokumpu board of directors, and the individual board members act as the multiple units of analysis. Data on the company generally has been gathered from a longer time period, from 1999 to 2007, to explain and describe the context of the case. More thorough attention is given to years from 2001 to 2007 since during this time the board of directors went through many changes. Semi-structured interviews were used as the main data collection method and the interviews took place in the end of year 2007 and the beginning of 2008. Altogether nine people were interviewed: the chairman of the board, two Finnish male members, one foreign male member, two foreign female members, one Finnish female member, one former CEO and one former Finnish female member.

Main Findings The thesis identifies main barriers to and criteria for recruitment, the reasons for accepting a position, and roles and contributions of female and foreign board members. In addition, three novel findings appeared during the research. Firstly, foreign members encounter many barriers on their way to a Finnish company’s board. These are: the short recruiting process, one year tenure, low meting fees, recruitment relying on Finnish networks, and the remoteness of Finland. Secondly, the main reason for the female members’ recruitment used to be gender in the beginning of the 21st century. However, this effect of gender has diminished during the last few years. Thirdly, the actual amount of female and foreign members proved significant: the minimum amount of female members is two and the minimum amount of foreigners is three for the board to be able to reap the benefits of diversity.
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