Corporate Elites and Corporate Strategy: How Demographic Preferences and Structural Position Shape the Scope of the Firm., Strategic Management Journal
This study combines elements of the upper echelons and agency perspectives to resolve some of the ambiguity surrounding how corporate elites affect corporate strategy. We propose and test the notion that while differences in individual characteristics of corporate elites may imply different preferences for particular corporate strategies such as diversification and acquisitions, these basic preferences, when situated in different agency contexts (e.g., CEO, outsider director, non-CEO top management team member), generate very different strategic outcomes. Our detailed empirical findings, based on extensive longitudinal governance and corporate strategy data from large U.S. corporations, also highlight the pitfalls of using aggregate units of analysis (e.g., board of directors or top management team) when studying the influence of corporate elites on corporate strategy.
Michael Jensen, Edward Zajac
Jensen, Michael, and Edward Zajac. 2004. Corporate Elites and Corporate Strategy: How Demographic Preferences and Structural Position Shape the Scope of the Firm.. Strategic Management Journal. 25(6): 507-524.