Gendered brokerage and firm performance - an interlock analysis of the UK

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Corporate success depends partially on the quality of knowledge accessible to the executive board. One route of access to such knowledge is the appointment of directors who already hold directorships with prominent other corporate actors. Such director appointments provide interlocks to a corporate knowledge ecosystem (Haunschild and Beckman, 1998). The purpose of this paper is to examine how linkages between companies belonging to different sectors impact firm performance and to examine how linkages created by female directors, as opposed to male directors, shape performance.

This paper investigates the interlocks created between UK FTSE 350 companies from 2010 to 2018. It draws on network analysis to map the roles that male and female directors play in linking firms with varying sector classifications. The paper provides an examination of the impact of these roles on firm performance, through a panel data regression analysis.

This paper finds that there is an increase of inter-industry brokers over the period, and that men are still dominant in both the network and creating inter-industry ties amongst companies. However, the role of women in establishing these ties appears to be changing, and women are more important when it comes to create inter-industry ties among key economic sectors.

This paper provides a novel approach to examine the interplay between gendered inter (and intra) sectoral linkages and firm performance. It provides an original application of the two-mode brokerage analysis framework proposed in Jasny and Lubell (2015).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-330
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Productivity and Performance Management
Issue number2
Early online date29 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2023


  • Brokerage
  • Gender
  • Interlocking directorates
  • Networks
  • Resource dependency theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management


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