Companies with more women on the board are less likely to make acquisitions

Author: Oliver Staley, Quartz

Crossland

Groups of men, left alone without the civilizing influence of women, will descend into barbarism, thumping chests, picking fights, and brawling unchecked. That’s the gross stereotype, anyway.

When it comes to the behavior of corporate boards, at least, there may be some truth to it.

Boards with women are less likely to try to buy other companies, and when they do, the deals are smaller, according to a study published earlier this year in the Strategic Management Journal.

That’s true of boards with as few as one woman, but the addition of more female directors further lessens a company’s aggressive tendencies, according to co-author Craig Crossland, a business professor at the University of Notre Dame.

Crossland and his colleagues looked at 2,998 deals from 1,592 US companies between 1998 and 2010. On boards where the number of women increased from low to high (or one standard deviation below the mean to one standard deviation above), there was an 18% decrease in acquisitiveness, a 12% decrease in deal size, and an average reduction of $97.2 million in annual M&A spending.

The authors hypothesize that the presence of women on boards increases the diversity of viewpoints and results in more complete discussions about the merits of deals.

Read the entire story on the Quartz website.