Session 200

Strategic Leadership, Learning, and Exploration

Track I

Date: Monday, October 5, 2015


Time: 16:45 – 18:00


Room: Governor's Square 17

Session Co-Chairs:

  • Priscilla Sarai Kraft, University of Giessen
  • Christian Stadler, University of Warwick

Title: Family Managers and Organizational Ambidexterity


  • Viktoria Veider, University of Innsbruck
  • Christian Stadler, University of Warwick
  • Julia Hautz, University of Innsbruck
  • Kurt Matzler, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Abstract: While firms need to explore and exploit, literature is divided on whether the direct relationship between the two notions is a positive or a negative one. Top Management Teams play an important role here as they allocate resources. We study the role of family managers. Using longitudinal data from German firms we show that family managers foster the positive impact exploration has on exploitation and diminish the effects of exploitation on exploration. This is due to the family managers aversion to risk associated with exploration which might reduce future family influence.

Title: Learning to Execute: Examining the Impact of Prior Experience on Learning-by-Doing


  • Megan Lawrence, Harvard University

Abstract: In this paper, I examine how heterogeneity in individual- and team-level tenure experience impacts the rate of learning-by-doing in a new practice implementation. I use data from a large retail chain which implemented a new restocking process in its stores to understand the extent to which differences in prior experiences of employees impact the ability to learn to execute the new process. Initial findings show that stores dramatically improve over time. However, there is large heterogeneity in performance across stores. Employee tenure and tenure diversity are both sources of improved performance as is supervisor experience. However, tenure and tenure diversity are not equally impactful across implementation weeks. Taken together, these findings suggest that basic variations in human capital impact firm learning and capability development.

Title: Learning to Learn: How Boards of Directors Influence Organizational Shifts from Exploitation to Exploration


  • Florian Naegele, ETH Zurich
  • Joern Hoppmann, ETH Zurich
  • Bastien Girod, ETH Zurich

Abstract: We investigate how boards of directors initiate and influence organizational shifts from exploitation to exploration. Based on a comparative case study of nine Swiss electric utility companies, we find that depending on whether a shift toward exploration is initiated by the management or the board, the board draws on different instruments which can be subsumed under either selection or variety creation. Furthermore, as soon as managerial exploration rises, the board is confronted with issues beyond its existing capabilities and needs to engage in learning. Given the lack of a hierarchically superior governance body within the firm, board learning is strongly dependent on the presence of board-internal higher-order learning capabilities. We discuss the implications of these findings for the literature on organizational learning and governance.

Title: Strategic Leadership, Organizational Learning, and Innovation: A Meta-Analysis


  • Priscilla Sarai Kraft, University of Giessen

Abstract: Although a substantial body of research has emphasized the key role of strategic leadership for innovation, empirical studies have generated inconclusive results and the precise mechanisms through which strategic leadership influences innovation remain unclear. Drawing on upper echelon theory, this study examines the mediating role of organizational learning on the relationship between strategic leadership and innovation. Using meta-analytic techniques combined with structural equation modeling, this synthesis integrates results from 107 studies, covering over 15 years of research. The results from the partial mediation model confirm that strategic leadership fosters organizational learning which, in turn, promotes innovation. The findings further reveal that national culture significantly moderates the relationship between strategic leadership and innovation. These results provide important insights for the management of innovation in different cultures.

All Sessions in Track I...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 276: K&I Sunday Panel: Big Data & Analytics in Strategy
Sun: 09:45 – 11:00
Session 277: K&I Foundations Session: A Conversation with Dan Levinthal
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 278: K&I Sunday Panel: Knowledge and Innovation in models of Business Models
Sun: 16:15 – 17:30
Session 104: Resource Allocation and Innovation
Session 261: Knowledge Creation and Sharing in Virtual Communities
Sun: 17:45 – 00:00
Session 317: Knowledge and Innovation Business Meeting
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 62: Multi-level perspectives on capability development
Session 105: Sourcing Strategies for Knowledge
Session 256: Innovation and the Strategy-Performance Relationship
Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 203: Post Acquisition Learning
Session 204: Acquiring human capital: Process and outcomes
Mon: 13:45 – 15:00
Session 107: Evolving Industries, Evolving Products
Session 205: Knowledge Recombination and Interdependencies
Mon: 16:45 – 18:00
Session 100: Innovation Management in Networks, Ecosystems, and Innovation Hubs
Session 200: Strategic Leadership, Learning, and Exploration
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 136: Innovating and Learning in Collaborative Alliances
Session 255: Processes for Innovation and Ideation
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 101: Strategic Patenting
Session 137: Entrepreneurial Experience and Cognition: Implications for Venture Performance
Tue: 14:15 – 15:30
Session 198: Emerging Market Strategies
Session 206: Knowledge Replication, Transfer and Absorption
Tue: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 17: Human Capital and Entrepreneurship
Session 108: Open Innovation: Antecedents and Performance Effects
Session 262: Pioneering Knowledge
Tue: 17:30 – 18:45
Session 60: Blurring the Boundaries of Strategy Work
Session 202: Team Dynamics and Creativity
Session 271: Spinouts

Strategic Management Society