This article was an exploratory one it tried to identify characteristics and the conditions that makes a firms' board more likely to include female directors and answering the question: why do some firms have women on their boards but others don't? (p.941)
The authors tried to identify the benefits directors can bring for the boards based on resource dependence theory (Pfeffer & Salanick, 1978). Because it studies directors regardless of the gender, they combined it with Work-group-level diversity theories to "identify potential benefits of female representation on boards of directors"(p.942).
Hillman focused on organizational characteristics and earlier related researches foundations such as Dalton et la Assumption: firms that deal better with environmental uncertainly perform better (1999), in addition to Pfeffer and Salanick proposal: organizations can have three benefits from board linkages which are: advice and counsel, legitimacy, and channels for communication" (1978:145, 161), taking in consideration Amason argument that the benefit of gender diversity can improve brainstorming, creativity, consideration of diverse perspectives more than the possible negative implication for communication (1996).
Firms get benefits from having women on their boards; Peterson (2007:179) claims "since the appearance of the B&P study, there has been increasing published evidence, both anecdotal and empirical, of the benefits of having female directors on boards."
Authors outlined four hypotheses summarized: the female representation on boards of directors positively associated with organization size, female employees' numbers, and links to other firms with female directors, and the firms' level of diversification. They used purposive sampling by selecting the top 1000 public traded U.S firms that had the largest sales, and filtering it to 950 firms the sample is large but not representative, the small and medium size firms were not represented in the sample, which led to a weak generalisation for their results.
The researcher adopted the deductivism...