Bridging the Macro-Micro Divide: An Examination of the Proximal Top Management Team Factors that Influence Strategy Implementation and Organizational Performance
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Organizational research has historically investigated strategy formulation while giving far less consideration to strategy implementation. This is surprising given that between 70 and 90 percent of formulated strategies fail. Moreover, the few studies that do address strategy implementation focus almost entirely on how the organization, a distal situational determinant, impacts strategy implementation. In addition to prior research focusing on distal situational determinants, most of these studies are conceptual or rely on qualitative or archival data. To fill this gap in theory and research, this dissertation proposes that an organization’s top management team (TMT) is a proximal determinant of strategy implementation, and more specifically, the TMT’s strategy implementation efforts. Indeed only by first understanding the strategists and their effects on TMT strategy implementation can one hope to gain clarity on the alarming rates of implementation failures. Drawing on “macro-organizational” theory, this treatise develops a new theoretical framework that emphasizes TMTs as being an influential proximal determinant of strategy implementation. To my knowledge, no studies have examined the role that top executive teams have in strategy implementation. Furthermore, using “micro-organizational” constructs, this dissertation examines the processes and structures that affect strategy implementation and organizational performance. In this sense, rather than argue (as many strategy scholars have) that distal organizational structures or processes influence strategy implementation, I argue a more proximal team structure of executive team interdependence and executive team processes influence the executive team’s strategy implementation, which, in turn, influences the organization’s performance. Accordingly, this dissertation offers an important theoretical contribution to both literature streams that move beyond extant conceptions that the distal organization and its attributes impact strategy implementation and bridges the prevalent micro-macro divide that exists in the literature today. Next, this dissertation provides a valuable empirical contribution by first applying a construct-oriented micro-organizational scholarly approach to tidy up extant strategy implementation and TMT process constructs and then submits these and other proposed factors to an empirical test. Last, given the strikingly high rates of strategy implementation failures, a practical implication of this dissertation is to help top executives optimize their structure, process, and strategy implementation tasks in order to enhance their organization’s performance.
Mistry, Sal (2014). Bridging the Macro-Micro Divide: An Examination of the Proximal Top Management Team Factors that Influence Strategy Implementation and Organizational Performance. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from