The board of directors and firm innovationA meta-analytical review

  1. Johana Sierra-Morán 1
  2. Laura Cabeza-García 1
  3. Nuria González-Álvarez 1
  4. Juan Botella 2
  1. 1 University of León, León, Spain
  2. 2 University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Business Research Quarterly

ISSN: 2340-9444 2340-9436

Year of publication: 2024

Volume: 27

Issue: 2

Pages: 182-207

Type: Article

DOI: 10.1177/23409444211039856 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR lock_openOpen access editor

More publications in: Business Research Quarterly


The literature on corporate governance has highlighted the importance of board characteristics related to firm innovation. However, empirical findings have not been totally conclusive, and some seem contradictory. Adopting a new perspective, we have tried to help resolve the puzzle using a meta-analysis that integrates findings from 96 previous studies to analyze the relationship between board attributes, grouped by their relation to structural or demographic diversity, and firm innovation for the period 1988–2018. The results suggest that certain aspects of boards, such as meeting frequency and the proportions of independent directors and outsiders, show the most significant correlations with firm innovation, but the levels of association vary depending on whether innovation is measured as inputs or outputs and depending on the sample considered and the methodology employed. Finally, general guidelines are suggested regarding practical implications and future research.

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