Session 91

Consensus and Commitment

Track H

Date: Monday, October 8, 2012


Time: 09:30 – 10:45


Room: Club A

Session Chair:

  • Robert MacIntosh, Heriot-Watt University

Title: Expanding Internal Organizational Legitimacy: Implications for Profitability and Corporate Strategy


  • Margaret Roberts, University of Bath
  • Jonathan Raelin, George Washington University

Abstract: While widely applied in strategy, the construct of legitimacy is heavily oriented to an external focus. As an internal strategic variable, legitimacy remains underdeveloped given a lack of consensus about its conceptual foundations and level-of-analysis. Our first contribution is therefore formally defining internal organizational legitimacy, consisting of how a firm strategically presents itself to entities working directly within it (i.e. subsidiaries, divisions, employees). Suchman’s pragmatic, moral, and cognitive legitimacies are then incorporated to increase robustness. Finally, in an empirical test, one form of internal organizational legitimacy (organizational-individual) is found to significantly impact firm profitability, with moral legitimacy leading to the highest and cognitive legitimacy leading to the lowest profitability. A second contribution is thus providing empirical evidence that corporate strategy must account for internal legitimacy.

Title: Implementing Normative Integration in MNEs: The Impact of Organizational Identity


  • Birgitte Grogaard, BI Norwegian Business School
  • Helene Loe Colman, BI Norwegian Business School

Abstract: In this study, we examine how multinationals achieve normative integration by incorporating the concept of organizational identity. Through interviews of 56 employees in a Norwegian multinational, we identify how the values communicated by headquarters are interpreted in the foreign subsidiaries, illustrating that perceptions of ‘who we are’ in the foreign subsidiaries affect ‘how we do things’. Our findings suggest that the development of a global organizational identity enhances the ability to achieve normative integration across organizational and national borders. This implies that managers must go beyond merely communicating values and goals to actively engaging in developing a shared organizational identity across host markets where local differences may result in varied identity claims.

Title: Strategic Consensus Between Groups: The Role of Within-Group Consensus and Strategic Congruence with Top Management


  • Jeanine Porck, Oklahoma State University
  • Daan van Knippenberg, Erasmus University-Rotterdam

Abstract: Strategic consensus is a prominent concept in management research, driven by the idea that it improves coordination and cooperation. Despite the obvious task interdependence between teams within the organization, strategic consensus between groups has received very little attention. Integrating strategic management and network theory, this field study proposes a new and easy-to-grasp method to study between-group strategic consensus. Using data from 3828 dyads of teams we found that dyads of groups with higher within-group consensus had higher between-group consensus. Additionally, we demonstrated that strategic congruence between the top management team and the dyad of groups mediates the relationship between within-group strategic consensus and between-group strategic consensus. Contrary to our expectations, dyads of groups with a higher degree of reflexivity did not have higher between-group consensus.

Title: Strategic Consensus: Going Back to Move Forward


  • Graham McFarlane, Linde LLC
  • Robert MacIntosh, Heriot-Watt University

Abstract: The literature shows that, despite many years of investigation, the strategic consensus-performance link remains confounding. We propose that this link may be made clearer through a better understanding of consensus formation. Hence, this paper goes back to study consensus formation in the hope of moving research in the field forward. We frame consensus in the practice sense - as an activity of strategy-making and as a measure of the performance of a strategic initiative. Specifically, this study aims to gain an understanding of consensus formation in an incremental setting by developing dynamic network models of consensus building and by considering the social and strategic contexts of strategic initiatives from data gathered from an SBU in a global company serving the microelectronics industry.

All Sessions in Track H...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 267: Strategic Processes in Transition
Sun: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 268: Capabilities that Help or Hurt Acquisition Processes
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 269: Chief Strategy Officer’s Role in Strategy Processes
Sun: 15:15 – 16:30
Session 89: Strategic Alignment and Strategy Implementation
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 99: Ambidexterity and Innovativeness
Mon: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 91: Consensus and Commitment
Mon: 13:30 – 14:45
Session 92: Attention, Goals and Renewal
Mon: 16:30 – 17:45
Session 90: Participation, Cooperation and Commitment
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 94: Going Beyond the Conventional Wisdom
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 95: Emotions and Behavior
Tue: 14:15 – 15:30
Session 96: Comprehensiveness and Time
Tue: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 98: Management of Emerging Strategic Issues
Tue: 17:30 – 18:45
Session 93: Cognition and Intuition
Session 97: Cognition and Capabilities

Strategic Management Society