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Title: Exploring the foundation of Dynamic Capabilities : how the role-related behaviours of top management teams affect acquisition decisions
Author: Al-Shaghroud, Maha Mohammed Z.
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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Abstract:
The increasing speed of change in the environment is traditionally associated with enduring effect on organisational performance and therefore, its competitive advantage. Negotiating the increasingly volatile environment is believed to be the main role for the upper echelons. Top Management Team (TMT) cognitive capabilities are mostly challenged within dynamic environment. Although TMT is central to strategic management and organisation studies since the last century, their conspicuous role, individually and collectively, in influencing the conduct of the firm through strategic decision making becomes more challenged in a time of economic hardship and provides a timely and interesting research topic. Hence, this study takes a reflexive social constructionist view on the role of TMT and adopts a contemporary approach to study their role at micro level. It embraces an internal perspective on the firm which encourages the use of Dynamic Capability lenses (DC) during sensing phase of acquisition decision making because of the resemblance of the two patterns. The rational for the selection of sensing pattern of potential acquisition opportunities is because it provides a transparent level of analysis for the TMT role. Dynamic Managerial Capabilities (DMC) reconciles the role of TMT within dynamic environment. Nevertheless, DMC has received a limited and fragmented theoretical treatment in strategic management based on evolutionary views of the firm focusing on routine and experiential learning or cognitive tradition, with little attention to understanding the role of social interaction of TMT during strategic decision making. Findings of a purposive case study with four embedded acquisition cases reveal two sources of DMC which extend the micro foundation of DC. The first source reinforces the experiential learning patterns which includes the use of systemic approaches and codified knowledge to enable collective sensing of TMT. This extends DC literature by arguing that systemic approaches and routinized processes assist TMT when sensing forward-looking acquisition opportunities. This is an important insight because most of the literature is focused on superior cognitive abilities of managers when it comes to investigating search for forward-looking opportunities. The second source which contributes to the DMC literature identifies three categories of TMT related patterns of social interaction namely independent role, organisational role and hybrid role as another enabler of DMC in TMT during sensing phase. This is another important insight which emphasise the role of social interaction and the socialisation of knowledge during the practice of sensing phase. The two sources of DMC contribute to stabilise TMT collective sensing phase that is inherently uncertain and therefore, cognitively challenging. Furthermore, the use of role theory resulted in further theoretical implications. Thus, the different social roles played by TMT reflected different modes of managerial agency. This insight extends our understanding of managerial agency during decision making to a more of social agency as a result of reflexive thinking and relational processes. The findings have wider implication for managerial practice during making sense of potential opportunities to ensure collective decision making through diverse team composition, increase team socialisation during decision making, and codification of repetitive knowledge.
Supervisor: Pandža, Krsto ; Cornelissen, Joep Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.605362  DOI: Not available
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