Session 218

Consequences of Top Management Attitudes and Orientations for the Firm

Track O

Date: Monday, October 5, 2015


Time: 16:45 – 18:00


Room: Director's Row J

Session Chair:

  • Richard Priem, Texas Christian University

Title: Back to the Future: Analyzing the Consequence of Future Orientation on Strategic Flexibility


  • Kerstin Fehre, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Julia Hoefer, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Bettina Widmann, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Abstract: This working paper investigates the role of future orientation as an antecedent of strategic flexibility by analyzing the content of the letters to the shareholders of large German companies from 2003 to 2011. We assume and find preliminary empirical evidence that a higher level of forward-looking statements leads to a higher level of reported strategic flexibility, but more specifically to a higher level of the outcome in terms of strategic reconfiguration. Furthermore, CEO succession and flexibility orientation in resource management are include as additional potential triggers or determinants of strategic flexibility. We hereby provide additional empirical evidence on the previously hardly explored issues of both the consequences of future orientation and the antecedents of strategic flexibility.

Title: Effects of CEO Cognitive Complexity on Strategic Change and Deviation: Evidence from Text-Analysis of Language Style


  • Seung-Hwan Jeong, University of Texas-Austin

Abstract: A prevailing view of CEO cognitive complexity—in the upper echelons and managerial cognition literature—is that it enhances the ability of firms to process and integrate diverse information, thus enabling strategic change. In this study, I suggest an alternative view, informed by theories of thinking style and decision-making, that CEO cognitive complexity should hinder strategic change—because it increases information-processing and decision time (potentially leading to ‘analysis paralysis’) and leads to more cautious (i.e., less risky) decision-making. Using a longitudinal sample, I find support for the latter view: CEO cognitive complexity leads to strategic persistence and conformity. An additional contribution is the measurement of cognitive complexity based on large-scale textual-analysis of CEOs’ linguistic style, which has desirable psychometric properties.

Title: The Timing and Magnitude of Strategic Actions Post CEO Succession


  • Hermann Ndofor, Indiana University - Indianapolis
  • Cheryl Trahms Chapman, Minnesota State University-Mankato
  • Maria Goranova, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Michael Withers, Texas A&M University

Abstract: We integrate insights from the executive succession, strategic change and upper echelons literatures to explore how the context of succession affects the urgency with which a new CEO initiates strategic actions. We argue that quantitative and qualitative perceptions of the time available to the new CEO to prove their efficacy influence the timing and magnitude of strategic actions initiated upon succession. Moreover, the complexity of the environment inherited by the new CEO will affect the effectiveness of the strategic actions they initiate. Specifically, with too much strategic actions are initiated too soon in more complex environments, performance suffers. We examine these issues in a sample of 163 executive successions that occurred in S&P 500 firms

Title: Upper Echelons Perspective on Search Landscape and Competitive Behavior


  • Iiro Vaniala, Aalto University
  • Henrikki Tikkanen, Aalto University
  • Jaakko Aspara, Helsinki School of Economics
  • Pekka Mattila, Aalto University
  • Hedon Blakaj, Aalto University
  • Ilona Mikkonen, Aalto University
  • Alexei Gloukhovtsev, Aalto University

Abstract: The present study examines how the search for valuable resource combinations affects the competitive aggressiveness of the firm under a given product-market strategy. The relationship between search and competitive aggressiveness, the volume of actions relative to competition, is researched by investigating top managers’ thoroughness of search (depth) and the size of the searched space (scope). Using a survey-based sample of 237 firm-years collected over a 3-year-period from large Finnish companies, the results indicate that firms decrease their competitive aggressiveness when their strategic clarity or depth of search is increased. Firms’ competitive aggressiveness increases when the search scope is narrowed. The results also provide empirical evidence for the firm financial performance impact of competitive aggressiveness and strategic clarity.

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