Session 139

Do Top Managers Matter? Expanding the Focus and Knowledge

Track O

Date: Sunday, October 4, 2015


Time: 16:15 – 17:30


Room: Governor's Square 11

Session Chair:

  • Gerry McNamara, Michigan State University

Title: CEOs do Matter: A Response to the 2010 SMS Conference Best Paper Winner


  • Timothy Quigley, University of Georgia
  • Scott Graffin, University of Georgia

Abstract: A study that won Best Paper prize at the 2010 SMS Meeting argued that prior estimates of the CEO effect are conflated with events outside the CEO’s control, largely the result of random chance, and that the true CEO effect is substantially smaller than has been previously estimated. We suggest that the empirical methodology employed in this study substantially overstates the “random chance” element of the CEO effect and that its conclusions are flawed because of a failure to consider overall model fit statistics as well as its use of an improper modeling technique. We replicate these findings, highlight methodological issues, offer alternative conclusions, and, using multi-level modeling, ultimately show that this prior study significantly under-estimates the CEO effect.

Title: How Do CEOs Matter?: Unraveling the Puzzle of CEO Effects on Innovation


  • Mengge Li, University of Texas-El Paso
  • Donald Hatfield, Virginia Tech
  • Laura B. Cardinal, University of South Carolina
  • Chet Miller, University of Houston

Abstract: Research connecting CEO characteristics to firm innovation has not yielded a consistent set of findings. We set out to address this situation by examining more complex relationship forms and also the role of managerial discretion in the more complex dynamics. Both of these tactics proved fruitful in developing greater insights into the effects of CEOs and a deeper understanding of past inconsistent findings. Specifically, using a longitudinal sample from the pharmaceutical industry, our findings suggest that: 1) simple longevity expressed in terms of age and tenure outweighs other CEO factors in innovation outcomes; 2) age and tenure exhibit interesting non-linear relationships with overall innovation productivity; and 3) age and tenure affect the locus of emphasis in the innovation domain contingent on managerial discretion.

Title: The Board Chair Effect: A Look at US and Chinese Firms


  • Weiwen Li, Sun Yat-sen University
  • Ryan Krause, Texas Christian University
  • Xufei Ma, Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Garry Bruton, Texas Christian University

Abstract: Although many firms now separate the CEO and board chair roles, scholars know little about the extent to which board chairs affect firm performance, and even less about how the effect of board chairs differs due to macro-institutional context. Using multilevel analysis, we empirically decompose the variance of the performance of a large sample of publicly listed firms in the U.S. and China from 2002 to 2009. Results provide strong, robust evidence that while the effect of board chairs is statistically significant in explaining the variation of firm performance in both countries, the impact of the board chairs is greater in China than in the U.S.

Title: Upper Echelon Theory: The Relative Importance of CEOs and Non-CEOS in Firm Performance


  • Paul Thistle, University of Nevada-Las Vegas
  • Jeffrey Brookman, Idaho State University
  • Alexander Bolinger, Idaho State University

Abstract: Separate literatures have explored the effects of CEOs alone as well as the effects of top management teams (TMTs), CEOs included, on firm performance. However, relatively little research has investigated the relative contributions of CEOs and non-CEO members of the TMT. In this paper, we draw on the method of variance decomposition to isolate the effects of non-CEO members of top management teams and compare those effects to the effects of the CEO. Initial results suggest that both CEOs and non-CEO members of the TMT have significant effects on firm performance, but that the effects of non-CEO members are relatively greater. Our preliminary findings highlight the importance of CEOs’ indirect effects on firm performance through influencing other top managers (e.g., selection, evaluation, rewarding, and coaching).

All Sessions in Track O...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 40: Strategic Leadership and Governance Expanding: Shifts and New Directions in Research
Sun: 09:45 – 11:00
Session 283: Editor Panel: Publishing Strategic Leadership and Governance Research
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 38: Big Game Hunting: Accessing and Interacting with Senior Executives for Empirical Research
Sun: 16:15 – 17:30
Session 139: Do Top Managers Matter? Expanding the Focus and Knowledge
Session 147: What Could Strategic IT Governance look like in Smart Cities?
Sun: 17:45 – 00:00
Session 324: Strategic Leadership and Governance Business Meeting
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 140: New Perspectives on the Outside Director Selection Process
Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 141: Politics as Usual? Political Ideology in the Excutive Suite and Boardroom
Session 220: Perspectives on CEO Compensation
Mon: 13:45 – 15:00
Session 142: Top Management Teams, Senior Executives and Corporate outcomes
Session 215: Personality and Values in Strategic Leadership
Mon: 16:45 – 18:00
Session 216: Blame and Stigma in Response to Poor Orgnizational Outcomes
Session 218: Consequences of Top Management Attitudes and Orientations for the Firm
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 217: Leadership and Governance in Family Firms
Session 309: Looking Good and Sounding Better: Impression Management by CEOs
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 145: Strategic Leadership and Corporate Strategy
Session 214: Director Attributes, Director Actions and Director Effectiveness
Tue: 14:15 – 15:30
Session 146: Gender and Diversity in Strategic Leadership and Governance
Tue: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 219: A Tough Crowd: Critical Examinations by Owners and Stakeholders
Tue: 17:30 – 18:45
Session 144: Board Structure: What Works Best?
Session 189: Antecedents and Consequences of CEO Incentives

Strategic Management Society