An investigation of the relationship between gender composition and organizational performance in Taiwan—The role of task complexity

I-Chieh Hsu, John J. Lawler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

An important research issue concerns the effects of gender diversity on organizational performance. Over the years, gender diversity has largely been discussed at the group level or the level of the business unit at most. It has not been widely studied at the level of the organization as a whole. Moreover, such studies have resulted in mixed findings. Diversity does not necessarily improve work performance, often times its relationship with performance can be negative. Drawing on the dynamic capabilities perspective and the contingency perspective, this study investigates the effects of gender diversity on organizational performance in the context of differing job levels in manufacturing companies in Taiwan. We found that female representation in the job level of managers, professionals and administrative personnel showed an inverted U-shaped relationship with organizational performance, and the optimal proportion of women is generally higher than 50%. However, the effect of gender diversity on organizational performance tends to be negative among production workers. Our findings indicate that in the job level of high task complexity, gender diversity contributes to organizational performance. While in the job level of low task complexity, gender diversity does not lead to improved performance. Our findings offer implications for theory and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-304
Number of pages30
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Management
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 15

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Task complexity
Gender diversity
Organizational performance
Research issues
Workers
Proportion
Inverted-U
Dynamic capabilities
Taiwan
Manufacturing companies
Contingency perspective
Work performance
Personnel
Managers

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management

Cite this

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