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Board diversity in the pursuit of environmental, social and governance goals: a United-Arab-Emirates-based study

Alawadi, A. (2023) Board diversity in the pursuit of environmental, social and governance goals: a United-Arab-Emirates-based study. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00113656


This qualitative, empirical study explores the influence of board diversity on the attainment of environmental, social and governance (ESG) objectives within organisations based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Building upon existing literature, this research explores the connection between board diversity and ESG objectives in a novel context. Through the thematic analysis of data derived from interviews with 42 board members from UAE-based firms, the study identifies four key themes. The themes are: (i) social resources, (ii) knowledge resources, (iii) contextual resources and (iv) community resources. The findings reveal that diverse board members contribute social resources through their access to various networks, such as senior networks, government networks, international networks and expert networks. The research also underscores the importance of directors possessing extensive professional and educational connections. The study offers a comprehensive review of the knowledge resources available among board members by examining skills, cognitive diversity and demographic diversity. The results demonstrate that contextual resources, such as culture and religion, significantly affect the implementation of ESG objectives. Upon analysing the data, community resources, including geographic and representational diversity, were found to considerably influence the execution of ESG objectives. These findings enrich resource dependence theory (RDT) by pinpointing specific resources that stem from board diversity, as seen from the perspective of board members themselves. The study offers valuable insights for the development of existing literature and for policymakers in formulating regulations pertaining to ESG and board diversity in the UAE and other Gulf region economies.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Kakabadse, N.
Thesis/Report Department:Henley Business School
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Henley Business School
ID Code:113656


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