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Business School External Expert Lecture Review -A Study of the Impact of Board Diversity and its Oversight Function Including Project Managers

Date:Nov 29, 2023 13:01Source: ClickTimes:

In order to broaden students' knowledge horizons, enrich and expand the knowledge related to project management, and improve their disciplinary literacy, Dr. Xu Xin invited Dr. Huang Siyu, Assistant Professor of Shenzhen University, to hold a seminar on 24th November 2023 at 8:30 a.m. in the classroom of C5-106, which introduced the knowledge related to the diversity of the board of directors and its supervisory functions for the students of the School of Business.

In her presentation, Dr Siyu Huang discussed the influence of board diversity on project managers' oversight function. Board diversity is a management practice that improves governance, decision-making quality and a company's social reputation. This speech examines how board diversity affects the oversight of project managers in US listed firms.

Dr Siyu Huang highlighted the significance of board diversity by citing notable cases of board scandals and relevant policies introduced domestically and internationally.

Furthermore, she analyses the concept of board diversity by examining its benefits and drawbacks for the board's supervisory role and company management across six dimensions, namely gender, age, nationality, educational background, and work experience. She emphasized the need to broaden the differences among board members in various dimensions to achieve greater board diversity. The lecture outlined the board's supervisory functions and tools, stressing the crucial role of the board in supervising project managers as the senior decision-making body of the company. Drawing on agency theory, she highlighted the dual impact of diverse boards on the oversight function: whilst diverse boards may be more independent and capable of delivering better oversight, they may also impede communication and cohesiveness amongst the team, thus undermining the effectiveness of board oversight.

Building upon this analysis of board diversity, Dr Siyu Huang presented an empirical study to her students, employing the example of CEOs representing project managers. The research has discovered that age diversity and work experience diversity are instrumental to the oversight function of the board. In terms of executive directors, education plays a pivotal role in promoting diversity. Various robustness and endogeneity tests also confirm the main findings.

In this lecture, students developed a deeper comprehension of the supervisory roles of board of directors and project managers, which enriched their professional knowledge. Though the lecture concluded, the pursuit of knowledge never does. We encourage students to reflect, persist in self-improvement, enhance academic quality, think critically, and lead a fulfilling life guided by wisdom and fortitude.

Author:Sirui Hu

Auditor: Xin Xu