CEOs, Top Management Teams & Firm Strategic Renewal
01 / 2011 - 01 / 2015
Strategic renewal, which refers to adaptive change involving the replacement or transformation of one or more core organizational attributes, such as, products offered, market served, technologies employed and organization design is an intriguing issue for management scientists. A key puzzle concerns why firms differ with regard to the strategic renewal trajectory they follow? Whereas, in the past scholars have laid emphasis on the environmental and organizational determinants of strategic renewal, there is now growing acceptance of the major role played by firms executives in directing the path of renewal. In this respect, individual case studies like that of Polaroid corporation vividly illustrate how a company s evolutionary journey and prospects are affected by managerial choices regarding technologies to invest in, given environmental change. A key finding from such research is the importance of managerial cognition. Given bounded-rationality, a fim s CEO and top management team (TMT) are conjectured to selectively respond to situations and events given the lens of their experiences. Essentially, experiences determine the future cognitive learning approach of executives, which is speculated to influence direction of strategic renewal. Beyond speculation however, at the moment the literature lacks systematic theory building and large-scale empirical research. Even such basic issues as whether the CEO and TMT have distinct effects on strategic renewal have not been resolved. Moreover, it is unclear whether a CEO and TMT demography interact to have an effect and, if so, what demographic characteristics are relevant and what is their precise impact on cognitive learning and renewal. This state of affairs is rather unfortunate given the importance of the subject for not only individual companies but also the industry they participate in and the larger societal implications. The goal of the present project is to address the identified lacuna and thereby push the research frontier further.