Corporate boards are responsible for ensuring that managers enact policies that are in shareholders' best interests, and managers are responsible for implementing strategies that are not only profitable but also responsive to changing legal and societal demands and the resource needs of the firm. In this paper, we use the theoretical lenses of corporate social responsibility (CSR), the resource-based view, and agency theory to investigate the relationship between corporate governance structure and the implementation of supportive lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) policies. We analyze 10,233 firm-year observations and 1,594 unique firms, and our results demonstrate that LGBT-supportive policies are positively associated with firm performance. We also offer new insight into why not all firms adopt such policies. We exploit the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act as an exogenous shock that increased board independence, and our difference-in-difference estimation shows that firms forced to raise board independence in 2002 were less likely to invest in LGBT-supportive policies. Results suggest that human resource management (HRM) policies can be guided by CSR and resource-based views in the pursuit of wealth maximization, but agency conflict may also be a concern for external majority boards. We discuss implications for HRM research practice and corporate governance regarding LGBT policies in organizations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology
- Strategy and Management
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation