Session 118

The TMT as a Unit

Track O

Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Time: 17:30 – 18:45


Room: Meeting Hall IV (a)

Session Chair:

  • Donald Hatfield, Virginia Tech

Title: Conceptualizing the TMT through the Lens of the CEO


  • Ann Mooney Murphy, Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Allen Amason, University of Georgia

Abstract: In this paper, we examine the factors that influence whether a particular manager is included in strategic decision making. Using theory related to leader-member exchange, power, and strategic issue processing, we offer a conceptual model that includes both main effects and contingency factors. This research sheds light on how strategic decision making groups emerge and evolve, which informs the understanding of strategic decision making processes. It should improve the accuracy of the conceptualizations of the TMT, which is likely to improve research predictions. This seems especially important given the wide variation of how TMTs are conceptualized in the literature today with little theoretical rationale. Finally, in this paper we offer suggestions for future research.

Title: Disagreement Among Upper Echelon Managers: An Assessment of Four Decades of Research


  • Chet Miller, University of Houston
  • Carla Jones, Sam Houston State University
  • Codou Samba, University of Houston

Abstract: Common sense and existing theory suggest that disagreement among upper-echelon managers affects strategic processes and firm outcomes. Existing research, however, has been inconclusive. Although unexplored contingency factors no doubt explain some of our difficulties, more fundamental issues related to conceptualizations of disagreement also could be playing an important role. To assess these issues, an analysis of practices underlying published work was undertaken. Findings reveal 1) few attempts to formally specify the conceptualization of disagreement being used and 2) widespread within-study inconsistencies between the conceptualization implicitly used in theory building and the approach adopted for empirical analysis. Our findings have important implications for interpretations of existing research as well as the design of future studies.

Title: Dracula’s Image in the Mirror: Does Top Management Team Diversity Reflect the Organization’s Demographics and Does it Matter?


  • Donald Hatfield, Virginia Tech
  • Mary Connerley, University of Northern Iowa

Abstract: Traditional research argues the strategic choices made by the firm leadership impacts organizational performance. While this research has generated much insight, it has ignored those that provide information to the top decision makers, implement the firm’s strategies, and do the “little things” which also play an important role in firm performance. Our research examines two key questions: 1) does the diversity of the TMT is reflected in the organization—are the TMT characteristics similar to those of the rest of the firms in terms of race and gender; and 2) is organizational performance reduced when the TMT diversity is not reflected in the organization? We use confidential data to test these two questions.

Title: Top Management Team Transactive Memory Systems and Firm Performance: New Insights into Upper-Echelons Effects


  • Ciaran Heavey, University College Dublin
  • Zeki Simsek, Clemson University

Abstract: Although upper-echelons theory attribute much of firm performance to top management team cognitive structures, direct insights into the specific effects of those cognitions are relatively scarce. We build a social cognitive perspective, arguing that to the extent a top team develops a shared cognitive structure, or a transactive memory system, for addressing the team’s cognitive interdependency and demands, the firm’s performance will be enhanced. Additionally, we argue that this influence is boosted among top teams with strong social network ties. A separate source study of SMEs confirms that the extent of development of a transactive memory system within a top team positively contributes to firm performance, but that the magnitude of this influence varies depending on the team’s strength of ties in interorganizational networks.

All Sessions in Track O...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 119: Strategic Leadership
Sun: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 120: Corporate Governance
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 122: Strategic Leadership and Corporate Governance Complementarities: Why we Are an IG
Sun: 15:15 – 16:30
Session 107: The Benefits of Experience: Vicarious and Otherwise
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 106: Why do Firms do Bad Things and What Do We Know about It?
Mon: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 103: Reputation: Organizational and Individual Dimensions
Mon: 13:30 – 14:45
Session 112: CEO and TMT Turnover: Firm Implications
Session 214: CEOs and Leadership
Mon: 16:30 – 17:45
Session 113: Large Shareholders are Doing it for Themselves
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 115: Board Member Characteristics and Board Diversity
Session 137: CEO Human Capital: Take a Little off the Top
Session 254: Capital Markets and Efficiency
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 111: Why Boards Look the Way They Do: Director Selection
Session 117: Heterogeneous Owner Types and their Influence
Tue: 14:15 – 15:30
Session 108: CEOs Matter, Don\'t They?
Session 116: Discretion and Compensation
Tue: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 114: Adoption of a Practice and its Implications
Tue: 17:30 – 18:45
Session 118: The TMT as a Unit
Session 215: CEO Personality and Characteristics Influencing Decision Making

Strategic Management Society