Gender issue is the frontier research field of strategic management. Facing the deep and complex changes produced by the internationalization situation, it becomes a common choice to have females as the CEO of the company. As the decision-makers and leaders of internationalization strategies, how will female CEOs shape the internationalization dynamic process of Chinese companies? The previous studies have not conducted in-depth discussions on the cognitive logic and influence boundaries behind internationalization strategies. Based on the cognitive perspective of managers, this paper takes the important feature of internationalization dynamic process – “internationalization rhythm” as the breakthrough point, chooses the dynamic panel data of A-share listed companies from 2008 to 2018 in Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges to construct female CEOs’ explanation model to the internationalization rhythm of Chinese companies. Further, it examines the boundary effect of CEO genders on the internationalization rhythm from the perspectives of individual cognition and social cognition. The study finds that: Firstly, female CEOs have more comprehensive focus and more objective causal logic, and have relatively low perception of internationalization opportunities. So compared to male CEOs, female CEOs prefer “regular and stable” internationalization expansion. Secondly, with the improvement of CEOs’ education level, the overconfidence of male CEOs is significantly reduced and the rational thinking is increased, which can build up relatively objective “causal logic”; while the education level can enhance female CEOs’ self-confidence in their ability and decision-making behavior and adjust the focus of decision-making, and the gender difference in international decision-making will be reduced. Thirdly, female CEOs who pursue “social role” matching will pay more attention to team identity, and take into account the opinions of each member, thus increasing the degree of distraction and the degree of decision-making prudence. With the increase of the strength of TMT task-oriented faultline, female CEOs’ preference for “regular and stable” internationalization expansion model will be further enhanced. The main contributions of this paper are as follows: Firstly, it brings the focus deep into the internationalization dynamic process, and builds a more context-dependent theoretical model of the internationalization strategic behaviors of Chinese companies based on the characteristics of internationalization expansion rhythm of Chinese companies, to promote the deepening and integration of internationalization process theories. Secondly, based on the bounded rationality hypothesis, it returns to managers’ cognition itself and pays attention to the cognitive characteristics of decision-makers, such as “focus of attention”, “causal logic”, “social cognition”, etc., to deeply reveal the micro-cognition basis behind the “leap-style” internationalization process of Chinese companies and to respond to the call of “micro-basis movement” in the strategic management field. Thirdly, it introduces the variables of CEO individual cognitive ability and TMT team structure to analyze the internal mechanism of CEOs’ decision logic and its effective interaction with TMT. This helps to deepen the understanding of the specific influential mechanism of the internationalization rhythm of Chinese companies. Fourthly, under the situation of anti-globalization and trade protectionism sweeping the world, it has some practical guiding significance in optimizing the company governance structure and improving internationalization decision-making and other aspects.
How do Female CEOs Influence the Internationalization Rhythm of Chinese Companies?
Foreign Economics & Management Vol. 43, Issue 01, pp. 73 - 91 (2021) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.fem.20201102.101
Cheng Jin, Bai Haiqing, Liu Dan. How CEO promotes top management team behavioral integration——An explanation based on the theory of structuration[J]. Management World, 2017, (2): 159-173.
Cheng Rui，Ni Heng-wang，Li Chang-qing. A study on the behavior of risk-avoidance of women directors and board’s promise—— Evidence from Shanghai stock market [J]. East China Economic Management, 2016, (4): 132-139.
Fang Hong, Wang Yimin. Speed of International depth and breadth:The effect of top managers’ overconfidence and political network[J]. Journal of Shandong University(Philosophy and Social Sciences), 2018, (1): 111-119.
Gan Weiyu. Do female managers hinder corporate innovation? An empirical study based on Chinese listed companies [J]. Journal of Southwest University of Political Science and Law, 2018, (2): 125-136.
Hai Benlu, Yin Ximing, Chen Jin. CEO features, R&D investment and firm performance[J]. Studies in Science of Science, 2020, (2): 276-287.
 Hu Wangbin, Jiao Kangle, Zhang Yahui. Entrepreneurial cognitive capability: Concept, integration model and research prospects [J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2019, (10): 125-140.
 Lin Ming, Qi Haifeng, Ju Fanghui. Task-related top management team faultline, mixed-ownership structure and innovation performance in state-owned companies[J]. Science Research Management, 2018, (8): 26-33.
Liu Jiang, Wan Jianghong. Is China's advantage in female education underestimated? An analysis based on the national data of the ministry of education[J]. China Youth Study, 2020, (9):113-119.
Ma Yunbiao, Shi Beibei, Cai Xinni. Research on the governance role of ultimate controller' gender [J]. Management World, 2018, (7): 136-150.
 Wang Yilin, Wang Yimin. CEO power and internationalization rhythm of Chinese firms[J]. Chinese Journal of Management, 2016, (3): 366-373.
Wang Yimin, Fang Hong. "Accelerated" and "leap-style" internationalization process of Chinese enterprises: From the perspective of overconfidence[J]. Journal of Management Science, 2018, (2): 83-95.
Wu Jianzu, Gong Min. A study of the effect mechanism of CEO narcissism on corporate strategic change based on attention-based view[J]. Chinese Journal of Management, 2018, (11): 63-71.
Xu Gaoyan, Li Guifang, Tao Yan, Liu Hong. Female executives, organizational turnaround and managerial cognition[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2020, (5): 42-59.
Zhang Ming, Lan Hailin, Zeng Ping. Managerial overconfidence: A literature review and prospects [J].Foreign Economics & Management,2019, (2):17-29,138.
Zhou Hehui, Chen Weihong, Lan Hailin. Is 'keeping on the rails' more profitable? Research on the relationship between internationalization rhythm and corporate performance [J]. Science of Science and Management of S.& T., 2019, (1): 150-164.
Zhou Jian, Li Xiaoqing, Yang Shuai. Board tasked-related faultlines, effort level and firm value[J]. Chinese Journal of Management ,2015, (1): 44-52.
 Acemoglu D, Johnson S, Robinson J A, et al. Income and democracy[J]. American Economic Review,2008, 98(3): 808-842.
 Aiken L S, West S G. Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions[M]. Newbury Park: Sage, 1991.
 Bao G M, Liao Z J, Hine D. Managerial cognition, emergency preparedness and firm's emergency response performance[J]. Journal of Risk Research,2019, 22(12): 1490-1502.
 Boulouta I. Hidden connections: The link between board gender diversity and corporate social performance[J]. Journal of Business Ethics,2013, 113(2): 185-197.
 Camelo-Ordaz C, Hernández-Lara A B, Valle-Cabrera R. The relationship between top management teams and innovative capacity in companies[J]. Journal of Management Development,2005, 24(8): 683-705.
 Carton A M, Cummings J N. A theory of subgroups in work teams[J]. Academy of Management Review,2012, 37(3): 441-470.
 Casillas J C, Moreno-Menéndez A M. Speed of the internationalization process: The role of diversity and depth in experiential learning[J]. Journal of International Business Studies,2014, 45(1): 85-101.
 Chang S J, Rhee J H. Rapid FDI expansion and firm performance[J]. Journal of International Business Studies,2011, 42(8): 979-994.
 Che Y, Lu Y, Tao Z G, et al. The impact of income on democracy revisited[J]. Journal of Comparative Economics,2013, 41(1): 159-169.
 Chetty S, Johanson M, Martín O M. Speed of internationalization: Conceptualization, measurement and validation[J]. Journal of World Business,2014, 49(4): 633-650.
 Cyert R M, March J G. A behavioral theory of the firm[J]. Englewood Cliffs,1963, 2(4): 169-187.
 Dadanlar H H, Abebe M A. Female CEO leadership and the likelihood of corporate diversity misconduct: Evidence from S&P 500 firms[J]. Journal of Business Research,2020, 118: 398-405.
 Dah M A, Jizi M I, Kebbe R. CEO gender and managerial entrenchment[J]. Research in International Business and Finance,2020, 54: 101237.
 Darley W K, Smith R E. Gender differences in information processing strategies: An empirical test of the selectivity model in advertising response[J]. Journal of Advertising,1995, 24(1): 41-56.
 Decety J, Sommerville J A. Shared representations between self and other: A social cognitive neuroscience view[J]. Trends in Cognitive Sciences,2003, 7(12): 527-533.
 Deng P, Yang M. Cross-border mergers and acquisitions by emerging market firms: A comparative investigation[J]. International Business Review,2015, 24(1): 157-172.
 Denrell J, Fang C. Predicting the next big Thing: Success as a signal of poor Judgment[J]. Management Science,2010, 56(10): 1653-1667.
 Dormann C F, Elith J, Bacher S, et al. Collinearity: A review of methods to deal with it and a simulation study evaluating their performance[J]. Ecography,2013, 36(1): 27-46.
 Dragotă I M, Curmei-Semenescu A, Moscu R. CEO diversity, political influences, and CEO turnover in unstable environments: The Romanian case[J]. Journal of Risk and Financial Management,2020, 13(3): 59.
 Eagly A H, Johnson B T. Gender and leadership style: A meta-analysis[J]. Psychological Bulletin,1990, 108(2): 233-256.
 Eggers J P, Kaplan S. Cognition and capabilities: A multi-level perspective[J]. Academy of Management Annals,2013, 7(1): 295-340.
 Elosge C, Oesterle M J, Stein C M, et al. CEO succession and firms’ internationalization processes: Insights from German companies[J]. International Business Review,2018, 27(2): 367-379.
 Elsaid E, Ursel N D. Re-examining the glass cliff hypothesis using survival analysis: The case of female CEO tenure[J]. British Journal of Management,2018, 29(1): 156-170.
 Faccio M, Marchica M T, Mura R. CEO gender, corporate risk-taking, and the efficiency of capital allocation[J]. Journal of Corporate Finance,2016, 39: 193-209.
 Galbreath J. Drivers of green innovations: The impact of export intensity, women leaders, and absorptive capacity[J]. Journal of Business Ethics,2019, 158(1): 47-61.
 Ghemawat P. Commitment: The dynamic of strategy[M]. New York: Free Press, 1991.
 Gibson C, Vermeulen F. A healthy divide: Subgroups as a stimulus for team learning behavior[J]. Administrative Science Quarterly,2003, 48(2): 202-239.
 Goll I, Brown Johnson N, Rasheed A A. Knowledge capability, strategic change, and firm performance: The moderating role of the environment[J]. Management Decision,2007, 45(2): 161-179.
 Hambrick D C, Mason P A. Upper echelons: The organization as a reflection of its top managers[J]. Academy of Management Review,1984, 9(2): 193-206.
 Harford J, Li K. Decoupling CEO wealth and firm performance: The case of acquiring CEOs[J]. The Journal of Finance,2007, 62(2): 917-949.
 Helfat C E, Peteraf M A. Managerial cognitive capabilities and the microfoundations of dynamic capabilities[J]. Strategic Management Journal,2015, 36(6): 831-850.
 Hilmersson M, Johanson M, Lundberg H, et al. Time, temporality, and internationalization: The relationship among point in time of, time to, and speed of international expansion[J]. Journal of International Marketing,2017, 25(1): 22-45.
 Hoyt C L, Murphy S E. Managing to clear the air: Stereotype threat, women, and leadership[J]. The Leadership Quarterly,2016, 27(3): 387-399.
 Jiang B, Murphy P J. Do business school professors make good executive managers?[J]. Academy of Management Perspectives,2007, 21(3): 29-50.
 Jiang R J, Beamish P W, Makino S. Time compression diseconomies in foreign expansion[J]. Journal of World Business,2014, 49(1): 114-121.
 Jones M V, Coviello N E. Internationalisation: Conceptualising an entrepreneurial process of behaviour in time[J]. Journal of International Business Studies,2005, 36(3): 284-303.
 Kaczmarek S, Kimino S, Pye A. Board task-related faultlines and firm performance: A decade of evidence[J]. Corporate Governance: An International Review,2012, 20(4): 337-351.
 Khan W A, Vieito J P. Ceo gender and firm performance[J]. Journal of Economics and Business,2013, 67: 55-66.
 Kuivalainen O, Sundqvist S, Saarenketo S, et al. Internationalization patterns of small and medium-sized enterprises[J]. International Marketing Review,2012, 29(5): 448-465.
 Lau D C, Murnighan J K. Demographic diversity and faultlines: The compositional dynamics of organizational groups[J]. Academy of Management Review,1998, 23(2): 325-340.
 Lin W T. Family ownership and internationalization processes: Internationalization pace, internationalization scope, and internationalization rhythm[J]. European Management Journal,2012, 30(1): 47-56.
 Luo Y D, Tung R L. International expansion of emerging market enterprises: A springboard perspective[J]. Journal of International Business Studies,2007, 38(4): 481-498.
 Meyer B, Glenz A. Team faultline measures: A computational comparison and a new approach to multiple subgroups[J]. Organizational Research Methods,2013, 16(3): 393-424.
 Nadkarni S, Barr P S. Environmental context, managerial cognition, and strategic action: An integrated view[J]. Strategic Management Journal,2008, 29(13): 1395-1427.
 Narayanan V K, Zane L J, Kemmerer B. The cognitive perspective in strategy: An integrative review[J]. Journal of Management,2011, 37(1): 305-351.
 Nielsen S, Huse M. The contribution of women on boards of directors: Going beyond the surface[J]. Corporate Governance: An International Review,2010, 18(2): 136-148.
 Ocasio W. Towards an attention‐based view of the firm[J]. Strategic Management Journal,1997, 18(S1): 187-206.
 Paustian-Underdahl S C, Walker L S, Woehr D J. Gender and perceptions of leadership effectiveness: A meta-analysis of contextual moderators[J]. Journal of Applied Psychology,2014, 99(6): 1129-1145.
 Powell T C, Lovallo D, Fox C R. Behavioral strategy[J]. Strategic Management Journal,2011, 32(13): 1369-1386.
 Prashantham S, Young S. Post–entry speed of international new ventures[J]. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice,2011, 35(2): 275-292.
 Richard O C, Wu J, Markoczy L A, et al. Top management team demographic‐faultline strength and strategic change: What role does environmental dynamism play?[J]. Strategic Management Journal,2019, 40(6): 987-1009.
 Shi W L, Prescott J E. Rhythm and entrainment of acquisition and alliance initiatives and firm performance: A temporal perspective[J]. Organization Studies,2012, 33(10): 1281-1310.
 Simon H A. A behavioral model of rational choice[J]. The Quarterly Journal of Economics,1955, 69(1): 99-118.
 Starbuck W H, Milliken F J. Challenger: Fine-tuning the odds until something breaks[J]. Journal of Management Studies,1988, 25(4): 319-340.
 Thatcher S M B, Jehn K A, Zanutto E. Cracks in diversity research: The effects of diversity faultlines on conflict and performance[J]. Group Decision and Negotiation,2003, 12(3): 217-241.
 Vermeulen F, Barkema H. Pace, rhythm, and scope: Process dependence in building a profitable multinational corporation[J]. Strategic Management Journal,2002, 23(7): 637-653.
 Welch C, Paavilainen-Mäntymäki E. Putting process (back) in: Research on the internationalization process of the firm[J]. International Journal of Management Reviews,2014, 16(1): 2-23.
Cite this article
Fang Hong, Wang Yimin. How do Female CEOs Influence the Internationalization Rhythm of Chinese Companies?[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2021, 43(1): 73-91.
Previous: Has the Social Enterprise Failed?