Session 432

Upper Echelons Revisited

Track O

Date: Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Time: 17:15 – 18:30


Room: Estocolmo

Session Chair:

  • Annette Biedermann, Free University of Berlin

Title: CEOs Staying on as Chairs, Nation-Level Institutions, and their Effects on CEO Succession and Firm Performance


  • Reynaldo Valle Thiele, Hochschule Harz - University of Applied Sciences
  • Annette Biedermann, Free University of Berlin
  • Holger Luedeke, Touro College-Berlin

Abstract: We replicate and advance Quigley and Hambrick's (2012) findings on CEO succession that departing CEOs who remain as board chairs (CACs) restrict a successor’s potential to initiate changes. We suggest that the pattern may be universal, but that the interpretation has to differ among the institutional context, depending on the amount of managerial discretion. In a sample of German corporations we find evidence that it is mainly managers effectively meeting the expectations of specific stakeholder groups who get the chance to continue as board chairs. However, what might be interpreted as an indicator of sustainable development isn’t essentially good news: Although, CACs stand for a higher level of employment-intensity than non-CACs they apparently miss opportunities for strategic realignment as subsequent firm performance is significantly lower.

Title: Do Teams Really Matter?: The Direct and Indirect Effects of Team Composition on Financing, Network, and Performance of University Spin-Offs


  • Christian Soost, University of Siegen
  • Petra Moog, University of Siegen

Abstract: This paper studies the specific, direct and indirect effects of team homo- or heterogeneity in spin-off teams on the performance of new ventures. Based on the upper echelon as well as team theory, our primary conclusion is that it is not the direct effect of teams that influences success, but an indirect effect by way of such critical success factors of spin-offs as financing issues and networks that serve as mediators. We discuss the importance of team composition in relation to the different requirements of university spin-offs. To test our hypotheses, we use survey data from a sample of 131 Swiss and German spin-offs and find that team composition does not exhibit direct effects on performance, whereby indirect effects can be found.

Title: Staying Agile in the Saddle: CEO Tenure, TMT Change, and Organizational Ambidexterity


  • Paul Ferreira, University of Geneva
  • Sebastian Raisch, University of Geneva
  • Patricia Klarner, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Abstract: This study examines how interrelated CEO and TMT changes affect an organization’s ability to simultaneously explore and exploit. Drawing upon the upper echelons perspective, we argue for a curvilinear CEO tenure-ambidexterity relationship. We then propose that the timing of TMT change critically affects this relationship. While TMT change negatively impacts ambidexterity in the early stages of CEO tenure, it has a positive relationship to ambidexterity in the later stages of CEO tenure. We empirically test and find evidence for our arguments based on a preliminary longitudinal sample of 30 European insurance companies between 2002 and 2011. Our main contribution to the ambidexterity literature is the development of a dynamic model revealing the interrelated effects of CEO and TMT changes on firm ambidexterity.

Title: The Genesis of Managerial Discretion – Empirical Evidence from Germany


  • Henning Behr, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Kerstin Fehre, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Abstract: Introduced by Hambrick and Finkelstein (1987), managerial discretion has been intensively used to explain differing degrees of available influence for CEOs on a company’s strategy. However, the driving forces of managerial discretion themselves have only rarely been studied given that discretion is usually understood as an implicit, hardly measurable moderator. We investigate these underlying sources of discretion by analyzing a CEO’s intended strategic direction and comparing it with ex-post observable strategic outcomes. Our findings suggest that particularly CEO characteristics play a more central role in determining a CEO’s level of discretion than presumed up to now while certain environmental factors seem to be less important.

All Sessions in Track O...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 311: The Power of Power: The Role of Power and Politics in Strategy Processes
Session 386: Entrepreneurial Corporate Governance
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 476: The Dark Side of Strategic Leadership and Governance
Sun: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 435: What Happens After the CEO Has (Been) Gone?
Sun: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 611: Strategic Leadership and Governance IG Business Meeting
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 335: Internationalization and Strategic Decisions
Session 458: Those at the Top Matter!
Mon: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 336: CEO Roles, Frames, and Traits
Mon: 14:45 – 16:00
Session 331: CEO Compensation: What we Know, What we Need to Study
Mon: 16:30 – 17:45
Session 337: Power at the Top - The Influence of Directors
Session 411: Ownership and Governance
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 428: Managing External Dependencies
Session 467: Putting Pressure on the CEO
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 465: The Importance of Corporate Governance
Tue: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 429: Director Selection and Influence
Tue: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 431: Agents, Principals, and Owners
Session 432: Upper Echelons Revisited

Strategic Management Society