The impact of women’s representation on performance in project-based and non-project-based organisations

Results of this study show that the level of global project team members’ CQ-motivation significantly moderates how role clarity mediates the relationship between communication norms and individual job performance and satisfaction. The lack of significant findings for cultural intelligence (CQ)-knowledge and CQ-behaviour raises awareness regarding the contextual relevancy of the CQS (Cultural Intelligence Scale) for measuring global project team (GPT) members who work virtually across cultures.

For example, as GPTs utilize more synchronous communication channels in lieu of email, behavioural items in the CQS – such as changing verbal behaviour, pauses and silences, rate of speaking, non-verbal behavior and facial expressions – will become more relevant.

Keywords

  • Women’s representation
  • Organisational performance
  • Resource-based view

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What does the paper cover?

This paper presents pioneering insights into the impact of women’s representation on organisational performance in project-based organisations (PBOs). The results help refine the positive findings of past research and identify the moderating effect of industry type on the benefits of women’s representation on organisational performance.

Methodology

The main objective of this study was to investigate whether the relationship between women’s representation and organisational performance varies across industries. This was done by using a sample of 932 Australian organisations and a time-lagged research design to test whether the positive effects of women in management on organisational performance would be stronger in PBOs than in non-PBOs.

Research findings

The findings provide pioneering evidence for the positive effects of more women in management on the operational performance (EBITDA) in PBOs. These results support organisational contingency theory and the authors’ argument that PBOs are best positioned to capitalise on the benefits of increased representation of women because of the greater value in creativity and innovation achieved through mixed teams.

Conclusions

Having more women managers in PBOs can lead to improved organisation outcomes and deliver a better competitive advantage. Women project managers bring high levels of skills and qualifications, multiple perspectives and diverse market insights. Due to the unique project based operational structure and team-based working environment in PBOs women’s management styles can also have a positive impact on decision-making for improved performance outcomes.

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