Amy Edmondson Associate Professor Harvard Business School Boston, MA 02163 617-495-6732 phone 617-496-5265 Fax firstname.lastname@example.org Michael Roberto Assistant Professor Harvard Business School Boston, MA 02163 email@example.com Michael Watkins Associate Professor Harvard Business School Boston, MA 02163 firstname.lastname@example.org
December 11, 2002
The authors contributed equally to this article. We are grateful to Max Bazerman, Nancy Beaulieu, Ralph Biggadike, Joe Bower, David Garvin, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Hannah Riley and Mike Tushman for feedback on an earlier version of this paper, and to members of the Senior Teams Workshop and the Negotiations, Organizations, and Markets Seminar at the Harvard Business School for ideas and inspiration. We benefited from comments provided by three anonymous reviewers and the Editor of Leadership Quarterly.
A DYNAMIC MODEL OF TOP MANAGEMENT TEAM EFFECTIVENESS: MANAGING UNSTRUCTURED TASK STREAMS
ABSTRACT Leadership research relating top management team demographics to firm performance has produced mixed empirical results. This paper suggests a new explanation for these inconsistencies. We first note that a given top management team (TMT) is likely to face a variety of different situations over time. Thus, while TMT demographic composition is relatively stable, the TMT task is dynamic and variable. In some situations, team members have similar information and interests (a symmetric distribution); in others, information or interests diverge (an asymmetric distribution). Based on team effectiveness theory, we then argue that, unless group process is managed accordingly, asymmetric distributions of situation-specific information and interests will reduce TMT decision-making effectiveness. We develop leader process choices to mitigate the potentially harmful effect of these asymmetries. These arguments form the basis of a theoretical... [continues]
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