University Study Finds Racial Minorities Are Not in the Inner-Circle of Corporate Directors

AOMlogoResearchers at the University of Michigan and the University of Texas at San Antonio have conducted a study which shows that while racial minorities make up 22 percent of the corporate directors who serve on a single board, they are only 5 percent of the corporate directors who serve on more than one board.

“This is an important distinction because holders of multiple board seats tend to be seen by other corporate leaders as members of the corporate elite,” said James Westphal, a professor of strategy at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and one of the co-authors of the study. “Those with multiple directorships tend to exercise disproportionate influence over corporate policy at each of the firms where they serve as director.”

The study, published in the Academy of Management Journal, examined the board composition of the 2,000 largest companies in the United States.


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