Session 180

The Dynamics of Top Management Team in Achieving Long Term Performance

Track C

Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Time: 11:30 – 12:45


Room: Meeting Room 6

Session Chair:
Rodolphe Durand, HEC-Paris

Title: Adaptation at the Top and the Middle: Synchronizing Upper & Middle Management for Strategic Renewal


  • Mariano Heyden, University of Newcastle
  • Frans A.J. Van Den Bosch, Erasmus University-Rotterdam

Abstract: We build on the notion of management turnover as an adaptation mechanism by considering how managers concurrently connect the firm to its task environment at multiple levels of the hierarchy. We contend that synchronizing turnover of managers at multiple levels is a key mechanism by which firms can align themselves to different dimensions of the environment in order to strategically renew. Specifically, we propose that adaptation to changes in environmental dynamism will be mostly reflected in turnover at the middle, whereas adaptation to changes in environmental competition will be mostly reflected in turnover at the top. We further argue turnover at middle to be more highly associated with internal renewal and turnover at the top to be more highly associated with external renewal.

Title: An Examination of the Effect of Improvisational Decision Making in Top Management Teams on Performance


  • Susana Velez-Castrillon, University of West Georgia
  • Dusya Vera, University of Houston
  • Ariff Kachra, University of Western Ontario

Abstract: After reviewing traditional models of decision making-- bounded rationality, power and politics, and the garbage can--and pinpointing their limitations for explaining decision making in highly dynamic contexts, we describe our improvisational model of decision making. In the context of strategic decision making, we define improvisation as the extent to which the decision process is spontaneous, creative, action-oriented, and makes use of any relevant information and resources at hand of both objective and subjective, conscious and subconscious nature. We posit that the five dimensions of improvisational decision making, intuition, expertise, emotion, constructive conflict, and minimal structures reduce ambiguity in the decision context and improve firm performance. Our findings offer partial support for our model of the link between improvisational decision making and firm performance

Title: Strategic Groups' Logics and Adoption Decision


  • Rodolphe Durand, HEC-Paris
  • Erik Lootvoet, HEC-Paris

Abstract: In this paper, we focus on revealing internal organization asymmetries in practice adoption between two distinct strategic groups of organizations. We combine institutional isomorphism with strategic group homophilia to predict a focal organisation’s practice adoption. We study the late diffusion of anti-nosocomial practices in healthcare organizations over time in two strategic groups: public-service hospitals and for-profit clinics. Our results show contrasted patterns of influence whereby 1) homophilia effect is not always dominant and 2) the main driver of public hospitals’ practice adoption is nation-wise legitimacy and that of private clinics is regional competition. We derive implications for the study of institutional theory, strategic groups, and practice adoption literatures.

Title: Top Management Team Diversity and Firm Performance – Evidence from Disrupted Insurance Markets


  • Markus Schimmer, University of St. Gallen

Abstract: Team diversity has opposing effects. It increases the potential for creativity and simultaneously lowers group coherence. We delineate these positive and negative effects in the context of top management teams (TMT) and firm performance. For doing so, we develop a model that relates the distinct effects of TMT diversity to contextual factors. Our analyses of the global insurance industry (1998-2007) test how TMT diversity affects the way firms respond to market disruptions. We argue that high levels of TMT diversity allow firms to react both more consciously and briskly, whereas low levels of TMT diversity make them mimic their peers. Yet, since the extensive decision making of diverse TMTs involves costs and since its benefits fade during stable times, TMT diversity remains a double-edged sword.

All Sessions in Track C...

Mon: 12:45 – 14:00
Session 173: Proactive Strategies to Manage an Uncertain World
Session 181: Sustaining Innovation
Mon: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 174: The Effect of Environmental Conditions on Organizational Reconfiguration
Session 183: Managing Collective Emotions under Strategic Uncertainty
Mon: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 175: The Influence of Uncertainty on Investment Behaviour of Firms
Session 185: New Forms and Governance Modes for Coping with Uncertainty
Tue: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 176: The Influence of External Uncertainty on Capability Development
Tue: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 177: How to Make the Right Decisions During Uncertain Times?
Tue: 14:30 – 15:45
Session 178: Does the Past Predict Future Exploratory or Exploitative Innovative Behaviour?
Wed: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 179: Environmental Dynamism and Firm Behavior
Session 182: Cognitive Processs under Uncertainty
Wed: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 180: The Dynamics of Top Management Team in Achieving Long Term Performance
Session 184: Value Creation Under Uncertainty

Strategic Management Society

Washington DC