The Effect of Board Gender Diversity and Environmental Responsibility on Innovation: Evidence from the Top-Patenting Firms


  • Derek Ruth Dominican University, USA
  • Sui Sui Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada



Board gender diversity, Corporate Social Responsibility, Innovation, Patenting, ESG, Environmental Responsibility


Today, firms face joint pressures to increase the representation of women at the highest levels of their organizations, and to be more environmentally responsible. Still, the impact of these movements on firm performance is less clear. Through the lens of the Attraction-Selection-Attrition (ASA) Cycle, this study looks at the impact of Board Gender Diversity (BGD) and Environmental Responsibility on Innovative Output as measured by patents. Using a longitudinal sample of the top-patenting firms at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, we find that both BGD and Environmental Responsibility lead to higher levels of Innovative Output, and BGD positively moderates the relationship between Environmental Responsibility and Innovative Output. This paper contributes to existing literature by highlighting the need to consider BGD and Environmental Responsibility at the same time when considering their implications on firm performance. We also expand the scope of the ASA Cycle to include overall firm performance with respect to innovation.

Author Biographies

Derek Ruth, Dominican University, USA

Dr. Derek Ruth is an Associate Professor of Strategic Management in the Brennan School of Business at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. His research focuses on innovation, corporate strategy, and entrepreneurship. His work has appeared in prestigious journals, including Journal of Business Research and Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management. His teaching focuses on strategic management and data-driven decision-making.

Sui Sui, Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada

Dr. Sui Sui is an Associate Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU). Her research focuses on understanding the internationalization of small businesses and entrepreneurs, and corporate social responsibilities and board diversity. She has published in the most prestigious Financial Times Top 50 academic journals such as the Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Business Venturing, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, and received numerous research grants and awards. She is serving as Associate Editor for the Journal of Comparative International Management, Multinational Business Review, and Revista de Administração de Empresas. She also serves as an Editorial Reviewer Board Member for the Journal of World of Business and Associate Member for the Diversity Institute at TMU


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How to Cite

Ruth, D., & Sui, S. (2022). The Effect of Board Gender Diversity and Environmental Responsibility on Innovation: Evidence from the Top-Patenting Firms. Journal of Comparative International Management, 25(2), 178–193.



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