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Strategic leadership is not a term that everyone understands.In this exercise, you are required to discover, document, and compare and contrast three (3) definitions of strategic leadership from three (3) unique scholarly sources.Using the references, draw one definition from source

Write a 900 word double-spaced paper in APA format that evaluates the definitions found in these articles.Where are they similar?Where do they differ?Would you select one as more correct than the others or would you draw pieces from two or more of them to write your own definition?How would you explain your chosen definition to others?How would you apply this definition in a work setting?

As part of this project, prepare an annotated bibliography.The bibliography will be structured as follows: APA formatted reference (minimum 250 words per reference) followed by summary of key points, evaluation of the quality of the publication, evaluation of the quality of the author(s), where this fits into the assignment, and the library database in which you found the article.The traditional APA reference page will be turned in with the associated paper.

Personal Values at Work: A Mixed-Methods
Study of Executives’ Strategic DecisionMaking
In: SAGE Mixed Methods Research
By: Scott Lichtenstein, Gary Lichtenstein & Malcolm Higgs
Pub. Date: 2019
Access Date: January 28, 2021
Publishing Company: SAGE Publications, Inc.
City: Thousand Oaks
Online ISBN: 9781526498137
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781526498137
Print page:
© 2019 SAGE Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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SAGE Research Methods
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Personal Values at Work: A Mixed-Methods Study of Executives’
Strategic Decision-Making
ScottLichtensteinBirmingham City University, UKScott Lichtenstein, Birmingham City Business School,
Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK. Email: scott.lichtenstein@bcu.ac.ukGaryLichtensteinQuality
Evaluation Design, USAMalcolmHiggsUniversity of Southampton Business School, UK
9 ppSAGE Publications, Inc.
2455 Teller RoadThousand OaksCalifornia91320United States of America
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Encoding from PDF of original work
The purpose of this behavioural strategy study is to investigate how seasoned executives enact their personal
values in real-life organizational decision-making. The significance of this article is linking the personal values
of executives with actual leadership decisions they made. In focus groups, strategic leaders with an Outer
Directed (OD) or Inner Directed (ID) values orientation were prompted to reflect on their decisions at work.
Analysis of the coded transcripts revealed the four independent raters, reliably categorized coding events,
according to a Maslovian coding framework, r = 0.81 for ID transcripts and r = 0.76 for OD transcripts. Further
statistical analysis found significant differences between executives’ values orientation (ID or OD) and values
decisions (ID or OD), demonstrating a consistent pattern of ID and OD decision-making. Qualitative analyses
revealed that ID participants’ decisions were based on innovation, intrinsic value and interdependency,
while OD participants’ decisions were based on effectiveness, performance and affective independence.
Implications for researchers include advancing the efficacy of a behavioural strategy approach, support for
Maslow’s motivational theory and decision-making being consistent with personal values in an organizational
context. Implications for practioners include a predictable values-based pattern to managers’ decisions and
the need for a personal values-based leadership-strategy match.
mixed methods, personal values, strategic decision-making
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The study of executive decision-making has a long history in strategic management (Connor and Becker,
1994; Raissi and Hakeem, 2017). Most of that history has been dominated by rational models reflective
of economic theory. Powell et al. (2011) argue that analysis based on purely rational models and limited
methodologies have impeded progress in understanding human behaviour in organizations. Such limitations
prompted Powell et al. (2011) to call for a behaviour strategy approach. They note:
The strategic context of strategic management involves organizationally situated managers,
widespread uncertainty, and poorly defined problems with unknowable social and economic
consequences. In the circumstances, we believe strategy research should increase its emphasis
on executive judgement in the actual conditions of high-stakes, complex problem solving in
organizations (Powell et al., 2011: 1377, emphasis in the original).
This study offers unique insight into how personal values influence organizational decision-making by
analysing actual decisions made by executives in the course of their jobs.
The article begins with a summary of research into personal values and organizational decision-making. Next,
existing theoretical models and research methods are reviewed and the gaps are identified. A mixed-methods
study is summarized. Executives’ reflections on actual decisions they made within their organizations are
analysed to determine the extent to which their decisions aligned with their personal values orientation as
assessed beforehand on a Maslow-based values assessment instrument.
Figure 1. Key Determinants of Strategy.
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Theoretical Background: Strategic Leaders’ Values and Strategic
Research into the ways that psychology and cognition influence organizational decision-making has been
ongoing for 30 years (Barnett and Karson, 1987). Although it may seem intuitive that subjective factors would
influence organizations that are run by human beings, a good deal of strategy research is based on models of
rational thinking, which classify non-rational facets of decision-making as error (Loewenstein, 1996; Powell,
et al., 2011).
One variable that profoundly affects human decision-making is personal values. Definitions of personal values
can be found throughout literature in psychology and business, but common among most is the idea that
values constitute a framework onset of beliefs that guide one’s actions (England, 1967; Guth and Tagiuri,
1965; Kluckholn, 1962; Rokeach, 1968). As one team of research psychologists noted, ‘Indeed, it seems fair
to say that whenever the phenomenon of interest involves choice, or preferences, values are likely to be a
crucial, explanatory construct’ (Mumford et al., 2002: 348). Unlike many dynamic variables that come into play
during decision-making, personal values are relatively stable across contexts and irrespective of temporal
events (Meglino and Ravlin, 1998; Rokeach, 1985). Conner and Becker (1975) argue that personal values
may be a more stable factor than other psychological variables, and that personal values may supply ‘critical
missing variance’ in organizational decision-making (p. 558).
Connor and Becker (2003) found that public managers’ decisions were significantly related to their personal
values. Porter (2008) identified personal values as one of the four components of strategy. Figure 1 maps out
these factors. One way to read the figure is to note that rational inputs are at the top corners and non-rational
factors are on the bottom corners. Badr et al. (1982) found significant correlations between personal values
and strategic decisions made by graduate business students across 14 business decision scenarios. Notably,
the study used two sample populations: one from the United States and one from Egypt. Although the values
upon which decisions were based varied across the two groups, personal values influenced each group to the
same significant degree, suggesting that the role of personal values in decision-making is comparable across
cultures (also see Whitely and England, 1977; Schwartz, 1992).
Postman et al. (1948) demonstrated that ‘personal values are demonstrable determinants of what the
individual selects perceptually from his environment’ (p. 143). Ismail (2016) notes: ‘Executive experience
and personalities affect managers’ 1) field of vision (the directions they look and listen), selective perception
(what they actually see and hear), and 3) and interpretation (how they attach meaning to what they see
and hear)’ (p. 29). Accordingly, even if managers based their decisions on reasoning alone, the factors they
weigh and the relative importance of those factors will be determined by personal values. Finkelstein and
Hambrick (1996) illustrated how personal values filter strategic leaders’ perceptions of the situations about
which they make organizational decisions. They argue that personal values create perceptual selection bias,
which influences executives’ interpretation of situations and events, which in turn influences decision-making
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(Figure 2). Their model builds on previous models of the relationship between values and behaviour (e.g.
England, 1967).
Researching the Influence of Personal Values on Decision-Making
Mumford et al. (2002) summarize the two methodological approaches used across studies examining the
influence of personal values on decision-making as: direct and indirect. Direct measures ask respondents
to identify the extent to which they agree with value statements provided (see for example, Rokeach, 1973;
Schwartz, 1994). Response options are typically ipsative, forcing respondents to choose between one or
another option, each of which represents a particular values orientation. Through a series of such items,
values orientations are rank ordered, revealing a response pattern that identifies respondents’ overall values
orientation. The direct approach assumes that respondents are conscious of their values and that those
values are well articulated in their own minds (Mumford et al., 2002). It also assumes that survey response
options provide clear-cut alternatives. Braithwaite and Law (1985) interviewed subjects while they completed
the Rokeach Values Survey. Several respondents found ipsative (forced-ranking) options to be interrelated,
feedback that caused the authors to revise and add several items and calls into question how people
answered such items when completing the instrument on their own (p. 253).
Indirect assessments pose scenarios, simulations or games that require subjects to make choices between
competing alternatives. The pattern of choices made infer subjects’ underlying values. For example, Judge
and Bretz (1992) developed job descriptions that had seven factors embedded in them, three of which were
considered non-values (salary, type of work and promotion opportunities), while the other four were identified
by Ravlin and Meglino (1989) as work-related values: fairness, achievement, honesty and concern for others.
The authors found that personal value variables exerted a greater influence on job choice than the non-value
variables. However, they also acknowledged the artificiality of the exercise (each respondent assessed 128
possible combinations of the job description) and advised that it would be useful to replicate results with actual
rather than hypothetical job offers (p. 269).
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Figure 2. How Values Impact Strategy.
Both direct and indirect methods of assessing strategic decision-making have relied upon hypothetical
situations and/or predetermined, force choice value rankings. While studies classify participants into
statistically reliable categories, researchers have not assessed the criterion validity of those findings; that
is, the extent to which the values orientations identified are actually invoked in real-world, organizational
decision-making. Furthermore, both approaches assume that values are applied invariably. Yet, decisionmaking in life may be nuanced, shaped by facts and circumstances and necessary trade-offs, and broad
considerations of potential outcomes. For example, Shaw and Higgins (1997) found that decision-making
varied based on the value that participants placed on potential outcomes.
England (1967) distinguishes between intended values -those that are professed but not necessarily acted
upon and operative values – those that consistently guide behaviour (p. 54), thus accounting for nuance
and complexity in decision-making. In short, people with a dominant values orientation may make decisions
at work that are reflective of alternative values orientations, based on a range of factors and possible
consequences that are impossible to simulate in an ipsative approach. Both direct and indirect approaches
raise questions about the criterion validity of such measures, as they apply to real-life decision-making.
In accordance with behavioural strategy theory and in contrast to prior research into strategic decisionmaking, this study’s authors sought to pilot a retrospective approach, by eliciting reflections from seasoned
executives on decisions they made in actual work situations. If values drive decisionmaking, then the values
orientation of organizational decision-makers should be discernable in their reflections, confirming the validity
of a values framework. Therefore, this study explores whether executives’ actual, job-related decision-making
aligns with their values orientations.
Method: Towards a Retrospective Assessment of Personal Values
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Powell et al. (2011) urged strategy researchers to study the psychological underpinnings of organizational
decisionmaking. They argue that multi-method studies have great potential for understanding the relationship
between cognition, social context and strategic management: ‘We believe methodological diversity will prove
essential for improving our understanding of individual and social behaviour in organizations’ (p. 1371)…‘We
see mixed-methods research as the future of behavioural strategy’ (p. 1381).
Accordingly, this study used a mixed-methods approach, as summarized here and elaborated below. First,
participants’ values orientation (Inner-Directed – ID – or Outer-Directed – OD) were identified using a reliable,
validated survey instrument. Respondents were then grouped into one of two focus groups, based on their
values orientation (ID or OD). In focus groups, respondents, who were seasoned executives, were prompted
to reflect on actual decisions they had made in their managerial positions. The focus group method was
selected to elicit these reflections because ‘focus groups can provide insights into attitudes and beliefs
that underlie behaviour and enable experiences to be understood more holistically’ (Carey and Ashbury,
2016: 17). Focus groups were recorded, transcribed and segmented into coding events. Coding events were
phrases or several lines of text. Coding events were often bounded by researcher questions or turn-taking and
could include multiple consecutive sentences related to a specific theme. Four raters categorized each event
in both focus groups, according to a predetermined values rubric. Inter-rater reliability for coding events was
based on Ebel (1951) and Tinsley and Weiss (2000). Inter-rater reliability was calculated using an algorithm
by Solomon (2004). Raters achieved reliability of r = 0.81 for ID transcripts and r = 0.76 for OD transcripts.
Although no standards exist for inter-rater reliability for qualitative data, a reliability rating of r = 0.70 on opencoding of phenomenological data in naturalistic settings can be considered an acceptable cut-point (Marquez
and McCall, 2005; Miles and Huberman, 1994). After coding events were reliably categorized, they were
analysed statistically.
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Figure 3. Complementary Motivational Models.
To explore the question of whether executives’ actual decision-making aligns with their values orientation, the
study required 1) a framework by which to identify personal values, 2) seasoned executives and 3) a means
by which to prompt reflections on their strategic decisionmaking. Each of these components is reviewed
A Values Framework
Maslow’s (1987) hierarchy of human needs was used to categorize respondents’ values orientations.
Maslow’s model has been criticized for being empirically weak (Wahba and Birdwell, 1976), ethnocentric
(Hofstede, 1984) and gendered (Linstead, 2000). The model has been found to be misrepresented in the
literature (Koltko-Rivera, 2006; O’Connor and Yballe, 2007). Yet, studies have validated the framework
(Schwartz, 1983) and the model endures in the literature. While Maslow’s needs model has received much
attention, the linkages he proposed between individuals’ needs and their values orientation (or systems) are
less explored (Higgs and Lichtenstein, 2010).
Maslow proposed that differing individual needs form the basis of our value systems. The needs hierarchy is
often depicted in a triangle having five levels that ascend from basic physiological needs at the bottom to selfactualization at the apex. For research purposes, these levels have been summarized into three categories:
Sustenance-Driven (SD) values (based on the need for physiological and psychological security), OD values
(based on the needs for esteem from others and self) and ID values (based on the need for personal growth,
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self-actualization and self-transcendence).
Maslow’s framework was chosen for several reasons. First, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (1987) is a widely
known model of human psychological development that has been adopted and adapted across disciplines
(Koltco-Rivera, 2006; O’Connor and Yballe, 2007). Kahle, Sharron and Homer’s List of Values (1986) and
SRI’s Values and Lifestyles (VALS; Mitchell, 1983) are based upon Maslow’s ID and OD and SD framework
(Baker, 1996). Vinson et al. (1977) conducted factor analyses that showed statistical reliability in 11 of
Rokeach’s original 18 terminal and instrumental values. In Hambrick and Brandon’s (1988) hypothesized links
between personal values and organizational outcomes, the value of novelty is related to Maslow’s ID value
system; power and the need to have control over others is an aspect of the OD value system, and duty is
linked to the SD value system. Schwartz (1992) reported convergence between Maslow’s hierarchy and 4
of 11 of the terminal and instrumental values on his instrument. Deci and Ryan’s (2008) Self-Determination
Theory of innate needs also corresponds to the Maslow’s framework. Empirical support for Maslow’s theory
has been found by Higgs and Lichtenstein (2010) as well as by others (Chulef et al., 2001; Williams and Page,
1989). Figure 3 maps the Maslow’s SD, OD and ID framework to values frameworks of Schwartz (1992) and
Deci and Ryan (2008).
Second, in addition to relating to several existing values frameworks, Maslow’s hierarchy is familiar, current
and highly credible to business executives, who were the participants of this study. The book by former
CEO of Greenpeace UK, Chris Rose (2011), titled, What makes people tick: The hidden worlds of Settlers
(Sustenance Driven), Prospectors (Outer Directed) and Pioneers (Inner Directed) uses Maslovian-based
Values Modes (VM) to devise political strategy. Chip Conley, former CEO of the Joie de Vivre hotel chain,
details how he turned around the chain using the insights from Maslovian theory (2007).
Third, using a personal values framework based on Maslow, participants’ values orientation could be
quickly and effectively determined. While some values instruments contain 100 items or more, identifying
participants’ values orientation according to the Maslow model can be quickly assessed using the VM, a
proprietary survey instrument developed by Cultural Dynamics Strategy and Marketing Ltd (CDSM Ltd). The
instrument, administered online, is a 10-item questionnaire that takes 5-7 min to complete. The VM has
an extensive empirical history. In a study establishing convergent validity of executive values (Lichtenstein,
2005), a discriminant analysis using the factor scores of Kotey and Meredith’s (1997) 28-item List of Values
scale (Cronbach α = 0.87) to predict VMs categorization of ID, OD and SD categories resulted in 64% of
respondents correctly classified.
A Sample of Seasoned Executives
The respondents for the study comprised 35 participants in an executive MBA program, who volunteered
to be a part of research into ‘personal orientation’. All participants were employed full time as middle and
senior managers with a minimum of 5 years experience. All participants’ jobs entailed strategic leadership
within their organizations. The average age of participants was 35-years old, representing a variety of sectors
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including consulting, auditing and the public sector.
Participants were not aware of the ID/OD/SD framework before they took the VM survey. Of the 35
participants, 24 research respondents were identified as ID and 11 as OD. No SDs were identified in the
sample. Participants were not aware of their survey results. The VM was simply described as a personal
orientation instrument. At the time respondents completed the instrument, they were asked to participate in a
focus group interview to discuss their professional perspectives ‘with like-minded colleagues’.
Prompting Executives’ Reflections on Real-World Decision-Making
Researchers created two focus groups by selecting nine ID participants in one focus group and nine OD
participants in the other, based on the VM results. As noted above, respondents were not aware of the values
orientation they represented, or even that they were selected based on their values orientation. Had they
been informed of their values orientation, their responses might have been contrived for social desirability or
in accordance with the Hawthorne effect (McCarney et al., 2007). The authors hypothesized that the pattern
of responses within each group would predominately reflect either an ID or OD values orientation (depending
on the group’s composition).
The facilitator of each focus group explained that the purpose of the session was to explore work-life issues.
Prompts were semi-structured. Sample questions are found in Appendix 1. Although all nine ID respondents
attended their focus group, only two OD respondents attended that focus group, due to an unexpected, last
minute scheduling conflict. The study’s principal investigators facilitated both focus groups anyway, reasoning
that the unit of analysis was instances of behaviour that reflected an underlying values orientation, and such
instances could be elicited with as few as two people, a minimal but acceptable number for a focus group
(Wilkinson and Kitzinger, 2008). In spite of there being only two members of the OD focus group, the session
lasted the same amount of time as the ID group and produced an equal number of coding events.
Table 1. Proportion of Comment Codes Identified in ID and OD Transcripts based on Three-Rater
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The raw data were organized into specific ‘coding events’ throughout each group’s transcript, as described
above. The analysis process was guided by an a priori coding informed by Lichtenstein and Dade (2007).
Coding followed the VM framework, with ID, OD and SD each being divided into subcategories as identified
in the rubric. A ‘Not Applicable’ (NA) code was created for those phrases that did not apply to any of the other
categories. After training on the framework and coming up with decision rules, four researchers reviewed
transcripts independently, applying the coding scheme to each coding event.
Data were analysed quantitatively and qualitatively (Cress-well, 2003). Results of each analysis are
summarized below.
Quantitative Analyses
Researchers identified 81 coding events among ID transcripts and 80 coding events in OD transcripts. For
the purpose of determining differences between ID and OD transcripts, codes were collapsed into ID and
OD (eliminating sub-codes), since sub-codes were not considered meaningful for this analysis. To ensure
valid and reliable sampling, only codes were used that achieved agreement from at least three of four raters.
This resulted in selection of 69/81 (85.2%) of ID codes and 66/80 (82.3%) of OD codes. The proportion of
comments falling under each code type is shown in Table 1.
The proportion of ID and OD comments were compared across the two focus groups using chi-square
analysis, which is the standard technique for exploring differences in categorical variables. NA codes were
eliminated because they were determined to be extraneous to this analysis. Chi-square analysis found
statistically significant differences between the proportion of ID and OD comments in each set of transcripts
(x2 = 22.887, df= 1 and p < 0.000). ID transcripts had significantly more ID codes than OD transcripts, and OD transcripts had significantly more OD codes than ID transcripts did. Page 11 of 18 Personal Values at Work: A Mixed-Methods Study of Executives’ Strategic Decision-Making SAGE SAGE Research Methods 2019 SAGE Publications, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Table 2. Comments Reflecting ID and OD values Orientations. The finding of statistically significant differences between the proportion of ID and OD comments in each set of transcripts supports the proposition that strategic leaders’ choices reflect their values orientations. Moreover, these results suggest that differing values will result in differing strategy decisions. The next section examines the qualitative data. Qualitative Analyses Distinct patterns of responses emerged across the two groups. Motives for action and strategic focus for ID respondents leaned towards intrinsic value, including innovation, creativity, optimization and interdependency. OD respondents leaned towards company success, including efficiency, effectiveness, performance and winning. Differences between the two values orientations are starkly reflected in Table 2. For example, in Table 2, the ID manager in charge of successfully completing a project using a standard process, risks project failure and diminished company reputation on an untested product based solely on ID values related to innovation, doing things differently and personal challenge. In contrast, the OD executive reflects on a case in which managers at the highest level planned on not following through on a promise to pay bonuses if the work unit hit its performance target. The work unit hit the target, but upper management resisted paying the promised bonuses. The respondent's argument is not based on ethics and justice in standing by a promise made. Rather, she expresses concern that the ramifications could result in decreased productivity that would reflect on her. For the OD executive, decisions are based primarily on organizational outcomes as a reflection of self. Page 12 of 18 Personal Values at Work: A Mixed-Methods Study of Executives’ Strategic Decision-Making SAGE SAGE Research Methods 2019 SAGE Publications, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. While patterns of decision-making based on values-orientation were largely consistent, they were not invariable. In the ID focus group, 26% of comments reflected OD values orientations and in the OD group, 17% of comments reflected an ID values orientation. Within a pattern of consistency, application of one's values orientation can vary based on context and projected consequences. Discussion, Limitations and Further Avenues for Research These data support the proposition that executives’ actual, job-related decision-making is reflected in their personal values orientations. Moreover, strategy decisions varied by their differing values orientations. Significant differences were found in the proportions of ID and OD statements of each focus group, in accordance with the pattern predicted by the VM values identification instrument. The data reveal the application of personal values during actual decision-making. Analyses revealed nuance in the application of values in real-world situations. Although significant patterns emerged within the ID and OD groups, there were instances in which ID respondents reflected OD values, and OD respondents reflected ID values. This study makes a new contribution to how personal values influence decision-making by investigating how seasoned executives enact their personal values in real-life organizational decision-making. Powell et al. (2011) advocated for a behaviour strategy approach that integrates multiple disciplines and mixed methods, as this study has done: Behavioural strategy merges behavioural and social psychology with strategic management theory and practice. Behavioural strategy aims to bring realistic assumptions about human cognition, emotions, and social behaviour to the strategic management of organizations, and, thereby, to enrich strategy theory, empirical research, and real-world practice. (Powell etal., 2011: 1371) Concerning the implications for practice, if strategic decisions are the result of ‘non-rational’ factors, then it is suggested that practioners understand these forces, which impact strategic choices. One of the implications of these results concerns the leadership-strategy match. It is suggested that ID strategic leaders would be best to lead diversification strategies that require creative, innovative approaches, while OD strategic leaders would be best suited for more short-term, performance-oriented strategic initiatives. Putting an ID strategic leader in charge of an efficiency programme (e. g. Six Sigma project), or to have an OD strategic leader responsible for R&D may well lead to a leadership-strategy mismatch. Limitations and Future Research As with any research, this study is subject to several limitations. The OD focus group comprised only two participants. This is a limited range of respondents contributing to coding events, although it still constitutes a focus group (Wilkinson and Kitzinger, 2008). A larger sample would have strengthened the findings Page 13 of 18 Personal Values at Work: A Mixed-Methods Study of Executives’ Strategic Decision-Making SAGE SAGE Research Methods 2019 SAGE Publications, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. by demonstrating a consistent pattern among more people, having been identified with similar values. In addition, the study would have been strengthened, had it included an SD group. Future Research The primary contribution of this work is to capture decision-making in actual organizational contexts. This study demonstrates the value of using mixed-methods techniques. In exploring the validity of a values framework based on actual versus hypothetical and/or ipsatic, forced choice instruments, research can bring clarity and reveal nuance to discussions of how personal values influence strategic decision-making. However, we admit that this study is modest and suggestive. The sample size is small and the scope of the study (a single focus group interview per respondent) is limited. While we believe that this study provides an example of the value of a behavioural strategy approach, follow on work should seek to employ multidisciplinary, mixed-methods approaches more ambitiously, with larger sample sizes and data collection at multiple time points. Over time, a nuanced, human-centred model of strategic decision-making could emerge that identifies how personal values are deployed relatively as actually observed, instead of being applied absolutely as currently proposed by direct and indirect methods. Declaration of Conflicting Interests The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship and/or publication of this article. Funding The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article. References Badr , A.H. , Gray , E.R. , and Kedia , B.L. Personal values and managerial decision-making: evidence from two cultures. (1982).20(3):65–73. Baker , S.(1996). 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What are the kinds of things that you want at work? • How important is it to you that your boss gives you a template, giving you clear parameters in terms of this is what I want you to do, versus someone who is more ambiguous - go off in that general direction but it's basically open? • Think about a decision that you've made about something with sort of a long-term time frame to it how did your own values affect that decision? • In terms of your personal values, is there one personal value that you would never compromise on, and if so, what is it? Page 18 of 18 Personal Values at Work: A Mixed-Methods Study of Executives’ Strategic Decision-Making Creighton Journal of Interdisciplinary Leadership Vol. 1, No. 1, May 2015, pp. 51 – 59 SPECIAL REPORT Global leadership communication: A strategic proposal Tom Lawrence Tri-County Technical College, Department Head, Public Services, tlawrenc@tctc.edu Abstract. Organizations face a myriad of challenges as the world interconnects through the process of globalization. In order to sustain viability and produce competitive advantage, organizations must develop a global communication strategy. Communication skills need to be developed at all levels of the organization, from a coherent mission statement to individual employee development. Organizations need global leaders, capable of moving in and through divergent cultural environments. Identifying and equipping these future leaders is an antecedent to success in the global marketplace. This paper offers an instructive model to guide organizations as they face increasingly complex, cross-cultural environments. Keywords: global leadership, communication, cross-cultural, strategic planning Introduction O rganizations increasingly conduct business operations in a globalized context. Global conditions foster organizational interdependence across cultures and render boundaries irrelevant (Stohl, 2005). Maintaining organizational identity, managing multicultural distributed teams, and understanding implicit leadership preferences across cultures are salient concerns for multi-national organizations (Earley, 2002; Cheney & Christensen, 2001; Muczyk & Holt, 2008). Moreover, the issues are not constrained to multi-national corporations; native organizations often hire, collaborate, and communicate cross-culturally (Lauring, 2011). Thus, regardless of geographic presence, 21st century organizations face similar challenges. One of the most salient concerns is effective communication within and beyond organizational boundaries (Brannen, Piekkari, & Tietze, 2014; Fall, Kelly, Primm, & Holmes, 2013; Lauring & Selmer, 2011). The structure and distribution of knowledge in cross-cultural settings demands organizations depart from traditional bureaucratic forms. Success in a global environment requires that organizations are flexible, intentional, and self-aware. In short, organizations need a global communication strategy to remain viable and to develop a competitive advantage (Matthews & Thakkar, 2012). The following strategic plan assists organizations as they build intercultural communication competencies, develop human capital, and pursue market share in the global economy. Communication Complexity In order to identify areas of improvement and build internal capacity, the complexity of global leadership communication must first be acknowledged. The following description of the construct ensures a shared understanding. Uniformity is critical to the autocommunication process (Cheney & Christensen, 2001), as a collective understanding enables the reinforcement of internal values. The proposed definition of global leadership communication is designed from the extant literature on leadership, communication, and business (Byers, 1997; Kotter, 2011; Lauring, 2011) and reflects the inherent complexities of © 2015 T. Lawrence Creighton Journal of Interdisciplinary Leadership DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17062/CJIL.v1i1.8 52 T. Lawrence the construct. Global leadership communication is the verbal and non-verbal transmission of knowledge across and through socially constructed cultural frameworks for the purpose of influencing, guiding, or motivating action. Viewing culture from a constructivist paradigm reveals the benefits of this explanation. Rather than reinforcing a priori classifications of culture, this definition accepts that culture is socially constructed and enacted through continuous communication (Martin & Nakayama, 2014). Instead of conceptualizing culture as a stable arrangement of social norms, the post-positivist view advances the idea that individuals co-create their cultural identity through recursive communication (Hall, 2014; Holmberg & Akerblom, 2006). The process is not static, and the framework of socially reinforced cultural features is subject to individual variance. Furthermore, cultural disparities may be influenced by local and regional norms (Graen, 2006; Kirkman, Lowe, & Gibson, 2006), necessitating a variety of communication competencies absent in the repertoire of traditional leaders. Organizations can narrow the scope of training by focusing on global leadership principles. Complexities and boundary-spanning requirements are embedded in the global leadership construct (Mendenhall, Reiche, Bird, & Osland, 2012). As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, cultural norms and social preferences are magnified. The paradox of globalization (Stohl, 2005) requires leaders be adept at operating in culturally complex environments while creating vision and motivating action. Dynamic leadership activities do not take place in a vacuum; they exist in relation to specific contexts such as cultural norms. Leaders influence others through varied forms of persuasion and encouragement (Kotter, 2001), requiring an understanding of cultural schema. Global leaders must exercise caution in generalizing cultural differences and remain attuned to the moderating power of social and situational contexts (Levine, Park, & Kim, 2007). Navigating these environments requires global leaders to acknowledge the complex and fluid nature of communication. Successful organizations need talented leaders and clear strategies to address the challenges posed by today’s business environment. Fortunately, a well-developed and executed strategic plan can provide support for both conditions. Discussion Global leadership communication does not happen by chance; intentional planning and engagement is required throughout the organization (Oddou & Mendenhall, 2013). Organizational success demands an appreciation for the role of culture in strategic planning processes. Although building intercultural competence is necessary, organizations are not free to abandon traditional planning processes. Instead, organizations must embed culture in traditional operations. The following discussion offers a road map for organizations to develop global communication and leader skills over the short and extended time horizons. Culture Levels Culture is a complex phenomenon that can be viewed through macro and micro lenses. The distinction is critical to developing an effective global communication strategy. The target level must be identified prior to any messaging. To provide clarity, the working definition of culture in this strategic plan integrates multiple descriptions of the construct (Bartram, 2012; Gudykunst & Kim, 1992; Hofstede, 2011). Culture is the aggregate collection of values, beliefs, symbols, and norms acquired within a macro-social framework subject to individual variability and reinforcement. At the macro-level, culture can be neatly segregated by behavioral patterns. The use of broad generalizations is evident in the scholarly literature and emphasizes a country-level view. Hofstede’s (1984) seminal work classifying national cultures and the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness studies (GLOBE) are two significant examples (House, Javidan, Dorfman, & De Luque, 2006). Hofstede formulated his culture dimensions from an original sample limited to IBM employees working in 50 countries; to Global leadership communication: A strategic proposal 53 support updated culture dimensions, GLOBE expanded data collection to over 1,000 organizations across 60 societies (Hofstede, 2011). Viewing culture through this orientation allows researchers to make predictions about cross-cultural interactions (Smith, Peterson, & Thomason, 2011). A macro-level view allows for the identification of communication preferences, such as the use or omission of specific symbols and discourse. Paradoxically, the ability to offer predictive capabilities is also a weakness. Critics of national culture studies have been outspoken about the lack of individual variables such as generation, education level, socioeconomic status, and social class among others (Graen, 2006). A macro-level view is incomplete, and organizations must appreciate the dynamics of culture at the small group or dyadic level. The culture definition offered in this strategic plan highlights variability and individuality. At the micro level, culture is context specific; individuals refine culture to fit particular external influences (regions, religion, class, etc.) and environments. As a result, culture can both dominate communication and appear absent. Accordingly, communication should not be viewed as intercultural communication simply because cultural variability exists (Levine et al., 2007). The elusive nature of culture is important to strategic communication. First, organizational leaders should temper their assumptions about intercultural communication processes; the differences may be less intrusive than expectations suggest. Second, organizations should be cautious about generalizing and blindly accepting preexisting national-level cultural labels, as within-culture variations exist (Yang, Harkness, Chin, & Villar, 2010). Last, organizations need to identify and develop individuals with the desire to seek cultural knowledge. Successful global communicators must understand national-level cultural distinctions and micro-level influences alike. Mission Statement Mission statements provide a tangible description of a company’s purpose. They ensure adequate resource allocation, motivate and guide employees, and inform stakeholders about their relative importance (Smith, Heady, Carson, & Carson, 2003). Mission statements support the establishment of a strong corporate identity; this alignment of followers on shared organizational characteristics can foster significant positive outcomes. More importantly, a strong corporate identity can facilitate shared understandings of the organizational mission, increase commitment, and minimize fractured understanding (Gomez & Ballard, 2013). In order to permeate all levels of the organization and ensure stakeholder fluency, the mission needs to be prominently and frequently communicated (Whitley & Chambers, 2009). Failure to be proactive in this area may lead to identity dilution or substitution (Cheney & Christensen, 2001). Divergent groups may fill voids in the corporate identity, each with their own rationale and message. The following mission statement is proffered for illustrative purposes: The mission of Company X is to provide premium quality widgets to our global customers. We promise to provide superior customer service, maximize value for our stakeholders, drive widget innovation, and be a good steward to the environment. We will strive to be global leaders in the field of widget making through intentional and strategic communication with diverse cultures, peoples, and locales. The model statement is multifaceted, covering a range of company behaviors and objectives. The increasing complexity of the global business environment demands innovative and engaged followers (Kelley, 1992). The mission statement should support the organization’s strategic priorities and inspire cohesive followership. The overarching theme is devotion to boundary spanning and cross-cultural communication to ensure competitive advantage. Effective cross-cultural communication has been shown to support innovation (Matthews & Thakkar, 2012) and reduce intrapersonal conflict (Pullin, 2010). The mission © 2015 T. Lawrence Creighton Journal of Interdisciplinary Leadership DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17062/CJIL.v1i1.8 54 T. Lawrence statement forms the corporate identity and creates the conditions required for group unity. A sense of shared purpose should increase employee efficacy as they carry out identified objectives. Objectives Objectives are specific and measureable statements reflecting a goal; they outline the necessary actions required to achieve the organizational mission. Organizations often fail to manage their objectives, focusing too much on a single priority at the expense of all others (Dodd & Favaro, 2006). To alleviate this tendency, organizations should address components of each objective over the course of established temporal benchmarks. The following proposed objectives for our model organization, Company X, demonstrate the concept. Year one The year one objective is to develop a strategic communication plan to highlight the company mission among consumers and stakeholders in their global market. In order to meet this objective, organizations will need to conduct a SWOT analysis of current external communication practices in the global regions where it has a market share. Self-reflection will allow organizations to evaluate its brand perception and assess current strategies (Goodrich, 2013). Organizations must review the external identity created by stakeholders and contrast this image to their internal image; this is the first step in managing the total identity (Cheney & Christensen, 2001). If these two paradigms are not reconciled, external groups may define an image counter to the wishes of organizations. A thorough understanding of the current reality and underlying contradictions will inform the leadership in preparation for stage two. In stage two, the organization will use its SWOT analysis to prepare a strategic communication plan targeting specific locales in current or proposed markets. External communication should be tailored to individual regions based on existing transmission norms. A variety of communication channels are available to transmit information to a stratified audience (Whitley & Chambers, 2009). Organizations need to identify the preferred distribution method in each location to exploit message delivery. In addition to choosing an appropriate channel, organizations need to consider additional delivery variables such as frequency, time, and messenger. Since individual communication styles vary, local norms must be identified prior to dissemination of the mission statement (Hartman & McCambridge, 2011). Suppose Company X wanted to establish a presence in Uganda via Internet marketing and web point of sale. Knowledge that Internet penetration is only 16% of the population (Freedom House, 2014) and print media reaches only 5.5% of the populace (Anderson & Hitchins, 2007) would be critical information. Three-year focus The objective for the three-year focus is to develop global cross-cultural work teams to innovate new widget designs for local markets. Company X will need to deploy crossfunctional teams comprised of culturally diverse employees to develop new products for regional consumers. Careful selection and management of teams has been shown to increase efficacy and produce innovation (Katzenbach & Smith, 2005). Innovation is a byproduct of group tension; teams need to work through conflict and develop trust. Conflict needs to be task oriented as opposed to interpersonal, necessitating efficient intercultural communication skills (Maznevski & Chui, 2013). Company X will need to leverage data collected during internal assessment, discussed later, to identify individuals capable of integrating into these teams. Individuals will need to grow an environment of trust through frequent and sustained communication with team members (Chen, Wu, Ma, & Knight, 2011). Developing global teams could yield significant returns for Company X in the development of new widgets. The Global leadership communication: A strategic proposal 55 range of perspectives and diversity of cross-cultural teams has been shown to yield higher performance and creativity (Maznevski & Chui, 2013). Five-year stretch The five-year stretch mission will be to communicate with stakeholders, residents, and government officials to identify new Greenfield projects for global widget expansion. Greenfield project sites in foreign locales present significant hurdles for organizations, including human resource management and employee satisfaction (Glover, 2001). Company X’s executives need to develop a relational approach to leadership, supported by cultural awareness and flexible communication. A relational orientation has been recognized in numerous leadership theories from leader-member exchange to transformational approaches (Offerman, 2012); individual connections are the primary link between these competing theories. Individual relationships afford leaders the opportunity to establish trust and common dialogue. The context supports competitive advantage in the form of credibility and access to resources (Chen & Miller, 2011). The advantages are difficult to replicate and should ease the challenges of establishing Greenfield projects. Leader Competencies and Training Effective communication is a critical intercultural competency. Individuals capable of effective cross-cultural communication can limit potential misunderstandings, minimize social barriers, and reduce ethnocentrism (Lauring, 2011). Organizations should recognize building intercultural communication skills is an ongoing and progressive course of action (Adenoro, Popa, Bletscher, & Albert, 2012). A systematic process of leadership training is needed to build employees’ intercultural communication skills and develop competitive advantage. The recommended course of action includes high-priority action plans and deliberate forecasting over a five-year period. The training programs are intentionally diffuse and inclusive of a wide variety of employees in order to maximize potential performers (Bartlett & Ghoshal, 2002). Short-term Organizations need to determine the baseline competencies of their employees before initiating training programs. A validated and reliable survey instrument may be used to gather the necessary data. Survey instruments may be delivered, completed, and scored entirely online. Surveys offer a non-judgmental and unobtrusive method for employees to gauge their own level of cross-cultural skills. Business leaders frequently used this reflexive process to evaluate their performance in a range of areas such as vision setting, succession planning, and time management (Kaplan, 2007). Similarly, practitioners recommend the use of surveys to identify developmental needs in conjunction with formalized training (Tompson et al., 2008). Surveys will also allow organizations to identify individuals with a high potential for global team membership and expatriate assignments. Global leadership communication requires employees capable of deploying a range of communication behaviors in varying contexts according to cultural norms (Osland, 2013). The Global Competencies Inventory (GCI) is a reliable and validated survey used to measure 17 characteristics linked with successful intercultural behaviors (Bird & Stevens, 2013). The survey can be delivered online in approximately 45 minutes. The GCI has been used to study the potential of employees to navigate expatriate assignments and multiple cultures (Smith & Victorson, 2012). Mid-term The mid-term objectives are exclusively focused on providing employees with a range of role-playing and short-term immersion experiences. The purpose of these experiences is to place employees into relevant cross-cultural dilemmas and learning environments. The © 2015 T. Lawrence Creighton Journal of Interdisciplinary Leadership DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17062/CJIL.v1i1.8 56 T. Lawrence cognitive challenges presented by these activities spur global competency development (Caputo & Crandall, 2012; Oddou & Mendenhall, 2013). Since these development programs are time and budget intensive, organizations should screen potential applicants using the GCI instrument. The next developmental stage requires intentional selection of personnel. Employee interest, capability, and strategic positioning are all valid concerns. Organizations should identify the critically important positions that support its mission (Huselid, Beatty, & Becker, 2005) and align potential global communicators to those slots. Organizations will face significant challenges if they fail to align personnel to positions supporting both the mission and individual abilities (DeLong & Vijayaraghavan, 2003). Organizations can avoid these issues by utilizing multiple data inputs, including the GCI, to manage human capital. Long-term On an extended time horizon, an organizations needs to invest in immersive experiences for its key personnel via expatriate assignments. Expatriate assignments have a lengthy track record among American organizations and there is general agreement on the positive value. Embedded assignments foster an experiential learning environment where employees can build cross-cultural skills and behaviors (Fowler & Blohm, 2004). Immersive environments allow expatriates to “… let go of their personal frame of reference” (Osland, 2013, p. 30) and adapt communication to cultural norms. Without this extra-cultural benchmark, employees are likely to misinterpret or vilify communication differences (Berger, 1998). The ability to identify differences and flex accordingly defines intercultural competence. Expatriate assignments provide the most rigorous and intensive context to develop intercultural communication skills. Conclusion Leaders are often romanticized as possessing an ability to succeed where others might fail (Ciulla, 2001). CEOs, employees, and the organizations they support will not survive in the knowledge era absent the ability to win; the global marketplace has no room for marginal performers. Organizations that will rise to the pinnacle will have developed and leveraged their cross-cultural communication capabilities. The ability to communicate across cultures is a nested competency of global leadership and supports organizational activities (Bird, 2013). In addition to developing individuals, organizations need to cultivate their communication infrastructure. Organizations must intentionally develop a global communication strategy. Developing a mission statement that reinforces a commitment to serving global consumers is a first step. The mission statement aligns internal and external stakeholders as the company develops specific communication objectives. Developing a shared ideal ensures followers focus on achieving objectives in furtherance of the organizational goal (Kelley, 1992). Intention and energy are not sufficient to ensure proficient and successful completion of communication objectives; employees need to be screened and trained. The use of validated assessments should precede the selection of individuals for specific training pathways. Leadership development should be tied to specific time horizons, with cognitive complexity being cumulative in nature. Mendenhall (2011) suggests leaders and global complexity are inexorably bound. It is only through the development of a global communication strategy that organizations can support individuals as they develop the competencies required to ensure their shared survival and success. Desire and need are insufficient facilitators of effective cross-cultural communication. Targeted and effective training of global leaders and managers has been woefully ignored and disjointed (Alon & Higgins, 2005; Cabrera & Unruh, 2013; Jones, O’Leonard, & Bersin, 2012; Muczyk & Holt, 2008). To be successful in the increasingly Global leadership communication: A strategic proposal 57 complex and globally interconnected world, organizations must develop a comprehensive and strategic communications plan with a focus on building global leaders. References Adenoro, A. C., Popa, A. B., Bletscher, C. G., & Albert, J. (2012). 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Lawrence Creighton Journal of Interdisciplinary Leadership DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17062/CJIL.v1i1.8 r Academy of Management Review 2020, Vol. 45, No. 3, 675–701. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2017.0485 STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP SYSTEMS: VIEWING TOP MANAGEMENT TEAMS AND BOARDS OF DIRECTORS FROM A MULTITEAM SYSTEMS PERSPECTIVE MARGARET M. LUCIANO JENNIFER D. NAHRGANG CHRISTINE SHROPSHIRE Arizona State University Top management teams (TMTs) and boards of directors (boards) face increasingly turbulent environments as they strategically lead firms toward superior firm performance. The dominant theoretical lens about these two groups is agency theory, which focuses on the need for independence. We suggest that the environment in which the TMT and board govern is broader than conceptualized by agency theory, and thus theories regarding strategic leadership also require expansion. Drawing from the multiteam systems literature and broader systems theory, we offer a new consideration of the TMT and board as part of a strategic-oriented multiteam system, which we refer to as a strategic leadership system. The core premise of our theorizing is that TMTs and boards that strongly emphasize attention to both working independently and interdependently enhance their group and shared task performance, and in turn, firm performance. We further nuance this theorizing by describing how external environmental characteristics (i.e., munificence, complexity, dynamism) strengthen or weaken the influence of attention to working independently or interdependently, thereby shifting the zones of system effectiveness. Based on this theorizing, we offer a 2 3 2 framework combined with practical recommendations for strategic leaders. Additional implications, limitations, and directions for future research are discussed. and highlights the importance of strategic leadership (Finkelstein, Hambrick, & Cannella, 2009). To date, the dominant theoretical lens about the groups governing the firm is agency theory (Daily, Dalton, & Rajagopalan, 2003; Jensen & Meckling, 1976), which focuses on the need for independence between the board and TMT and the intractability of conflicting interests (Dalton, Hitt, Certo, & Dalton, 2007). However, a focus on independence and conflicts of interest (Dalton et al., 2007) is likely insufficient to respond in increasingly turbulent environments. Indeed, agency theory might have limited applicability beyond highly capitalized, established firms (e.g., S&P 500 [Walters, Kroll, & Wright, 2010]) operating in stable environments, given the potential for self-interested managerial actions misaligned with owner interests. Furthermore, since the introduction of agency theory, expectations and responsibilities for boards and TMTs have also expanded (Daniels, 2013). Given that the context in which the TMT and board govern is broader and more turbulent than has been conceptualized by agency theory, we suggest that theories regarding strategic leadership need to expand as well. The top management team (TMT) and the board of directors (board) reside at the apex of the firm’s structure and provide strategic leadership for the firm. These groups are increasingly challenged with leading their firms in turbulent times. This turbulence can be seen in the topple rate of organizations, defined as the likelihood an organization loses its position as an industry leader, which has more than doubled over the past 40 years (Buescher & Viguerie, 2014). The average lifespan of a firm on the S&P 500 has likewise declined significantly (i.e., 10–15 years [Mochari, 2016]). This increased turbulence challenges a firm’s ability to sustain superior firm performance (Kraatz & Zajac, 2001; Siggelkow & Rivkin, 2005) The authors wish to thank Amy Hillman, Bert Cannella, Jon Bundy, John Mathieu, Rob Ployhart, and three anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments throughout the paper development process. We also wish to thank Lawrence Arrey for his graphic design support, as well as participants at the 2016 Strategic Management Society Annual Conference and the 2016 Interdisciplinary Network for Groups Research Conference for their insights. 675 Copyright of the Academy of Management, all rights reserved. Contents may not be copied, emailed, posted to a listserv, or otherwise transmitted without the copyright holder’s express written permission. Users may print, download, or email articles for individual use only. 676 Academy of Management Review Accordingly, we reach beyond existing theories of strategic leadership and build new theory that is better suited for today’s realities. Drawing from systems theory (Katz & Kahn, 1978; Mathieu, Marks, & Zaccaro, 2001), we offer a new perspective on the TMT–board relationship as one in which the TMT and board comprise a strategic-oriented multiteam system, which we refer to as a strategic leadership system. In doing so, we suggest that TMTs and boards share a superordinate goal of superior firm performance, and that they should orchestrate their work processes to emphasize attention to both working independently and working interdependently. The systems approach we articulate honors the respective group functions and need for independence, while simultaneously promoting their interdependence. This is well suited to enable responsiveness to shifting environmental demands (Mathieu et al., 2001; Zaccaro, Marks, & DeChurch, 2012), as TMTs and boards are better positioned to coordinate their actions and understanding to support both group and shared tasks. Our theory of strategic leadership system functioning adopts a multidisciplinary approach, drawing from and contributing to macro- and micro-oriented management literatures. We explain how and why the combination of attention to working independently and interdependently enhances system effectiveness, illuminating the interplay across levels. By articulating cross-level processes at the strategic apex of organizations, our work contributes greater theoretical depth to the multiteam systems (MTSs) literature, which has largely focused on within-level linear effects. This also contributes to the corporate governance literature by expanding beyond agency theory’s emphasis on independence, to illustrate the value of those insights while moving the domain forward to incorporate the importance of working interdependently. Our theorizing also contributes insights on how the environment influences system functioning. The starting premise of our paper is that attention to working independently and to working interdependently are both needed to facilitate system effectiveness in turbulent environments. However, rather than limiting our theorizing to turbulent environments and assuming homogenous effects, we build theory on how facets of environmental turbulence (i.e., complexity, munificence, and dynamism) strengthen or weaken the influence of attention to working independently or interdependently on system effectiveness. This contributes theoretical precision to both the corporate governance and MTS literatures, which have acknowledged the importance of the environment but have yet to articulate how it influences system functioning or how environmental characteristics may have varying effects. This contribution is July particularly important for the MTS literature, as the system view has been embraced as ideal for operating in complex and dynamic environments without fully theorizing why (Zaccaro et al., 2012). Finally, to increase the applicability of our theorizing and to demonstrate how it can change practice, we translate our theory into a 2 3 2 framework to provide a diagnostic tool for strategic leaders to assess their current approach to managing the dual tension. We then discuss how placement in the 2 3 2 relative to the competitive environment informs their potential system effectiveness, thereby illustrating how environmental characteristics shift the zones of effectiveness. This creates the foundation necessary to identify the types of interventions likely to be effective for strategic leadership systems with different starting points and in different operating environments. Finally, to assist in resolving potential discrepancies between the current and desired system state, we offer specific practices that strategic leadership systems can consider implementing to encourage attention to working independently and interdependently. TOWARD A CONCEPTUALIZATION OF STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP SYSTEMS At the intersection of corporate governance and upper echelons logic, strategic leadership refers to the study of the organizational actors at the apex of the firm, and the effects of these on organizational outcomes (Finkelstein et al., 2009). Finkelstein and colleagues (2009: 5) chose the term strategic leadership because “it connotes management of an overall enterprise, not just a small unit; it also implies substantive decisionmaking responsibilities, beyond the interpersonal and relational aspects usually associated with leadership.” Echoing Hambrick’s (2007: 334) axiom that “leadership of a complex organization is a shared activity,” we suggest that as organizational complexity and environmental turbulence continue to increase, effectively sharing organizational leadership is more important than ever. Strategic leadership of corporations is beyond the managing capacity of a single group, thus requiring the coordinated efforts of multiple groups at the apex of the organization that have distinct and shared tasks. Drawing from the MTS literature and broader systems theory, we offer a new way of considering the TMT and board as part of a strategic-oriented multiteam system, which we refer to as a strategic leadership system. We offer theory as to how and why attention to working independently and interdependently enhances the proximal and distal outcomes that comprise system effectiveness, and how environmental characteristics 2020 Luciano, Nahrgang, and Shropshire alter those relationships. An overview of our theoretical model is presented in Figure 1. The MTS literature has provided insights for reconceptualizing the dynamics between TMTs and boards in the modern, turbulent environment, as it explicitly incorporates the dynamics within and between groups in complex and dynamic environments (Zaccaro et al., 2012). Indeed, the MTS literature was born out of the need to understand constellations of interdependent collectives that did not fit existing forms (e.g., large teams, teambased organizations, matrix organizations) yet were well-suited for operating in dynamic and complex environments (Mathieu et al., 2001; Zaccaro et al., 2012). The traditional definition of an MTS is: Two or more teams that interface directly and interdependently in response to environmental contingencies toward the accomplishment of collective goals. MTS boundaries are defined by virtue of the fact that all teams within the system, while pursuing different proximal goals, share at least one common distal goal; and in doing so exhibit input, process, and outcome interdependence with at least one other team in the system. (Mathieu et al., 2001: 290) 677 with proximal and distal elements. Acknowledging the proximal and distal elements is important as it establishes the criterion space for system effectiveness: “Effectiveness of the MTS, then, is defined not only in terms of how well each team accomplishes its proximal goals, but more importantly on how well they collectively accomplish shared goals at the higher levels of the goal hierarchy” (Mathieu et al., 2001: 291). Several conceptual papers have further discussed system effectiveness (Mathieu, Luciano, & DeChurch, 2018; Mathieu et al., 2001). In addition, numerous empirical studies have linked MTS functioning with system effectiveness (e.g., Davison, Hollenbeck, Barnes, Sleesman, & Ilgen, 2012; De Vries, Hollenbeck, Davison, Walter, & Van der Vegt, 2016; Firth, Hollenbeck, Miles, Ilgen, & Barnes, 2015), with several demonstrating the importance of leadership (e.g., DeChurch, Burke, Shuffler, Lyons, Doty, & Salas, 2011; DeChurch & Marks, 2006; Lanaj, Foulk, & Hollenbeck, 2018; Lanaj, Hollenbeck, Ilgen, Barnes, & Harmon, 2013). However, this research has largely focused on action-oriented MTSs rather than strategic-oriented MTSs. Key Assumptions and Boundary Conditions This definition highlights two core factors of MTSs: interdependence between teams, and a goal hierarchy In developing our theory of strategic leadership system functioning, we note several assumptions FIGURE 1 Overview of Strategic Leadership System Functioning Environmental Munificence Environmental Complexity P3 P2 System Effectiveness Attention to Working Independently P1a P1b Attention to Working Interdependently P4a P4b Environmental Dynamism Note: P 5 Proposition. Proximal System Outcomes • Group Task Performance • Shared Task Performance Distal System Outcomes • Firm Performance 678 Academy of Management Review and key boundary conditions. First, this is a strategicoriented system, rather than an action-oriented system. The existing MTS literature has typically studied systems performing specific discrete tasks, where achievement of the superordinate goal is clearly within their purview (Mathieu et al., 2018); conversely, in strategic leadership systems the superordinate goal of superior firm performance is a much more distal outcome. There are numerous factors that may alter the relationship between the proximal outcomes of group and shared task performance and the distal outcome of firm performance (e.g., middle managers [Raes, Heijltjes, Glunk, & Roe, 2011], industry, or geography [Bamiatzi, Bozos, Cavusgil, & Hult, 2016; Rumelt, 1991]). Although the TMT and board have a large influence on firm performance (Finkelstein et al., 2009), we acknowledge the temporal and conceptual distinction between proximal and distal outcomes. In addition, we note that the precise contents of system effectiveness presented in this paper may be less germane in other types of systems, but argue that the underlying relationships still apply. Second, although we draw from MTS theory, we do not assume that TMTs and boards fit the classic definition of teams.1 We readily acknowledge varying levels of within-group interdependence, or “teaminess,” among TMTs and boards. However, their degree of within-group interdependence neither precludes nor determines the degree of interdependence between the groups, the key feature compelling system-level theorizing (Mathieu et al., 2018). We suggest, however, that the extent to which any particular TMT or board exhibits sufficient within-group interdependence to be classified as a team, as opposed to a group, only strengthens the proposed relationships (cf. LePine, Piccolo, 1 We acknowledge the distinction between groups and teams in much organizational research. Authors of seminal works on strategic leadership and upper echelons theory have simultaneously referred to groups of executives and of corporate directors as teams and acknowledged the validity of challenges to the accuracy of the label (Hambrick, 1994; 2007). Notably, Finkelstein et al. (2009: 370) suggested that “the distinction between ‘team’ and ‘group’ is perhaps more subtle in the organizational behavior or organization theory literature than in the upper echelons literature.” We acknowledge the potential for TMTs and boards in practice to operate more or less like “real teams” (Barrick, Bradley, Kristof-Brown, & Colbert, 2007), and reaffirm that while this distinction is sometimes important, this variance does not substantively alter the theorizing presented in this article (Mathieu, Hollenbeck, van Knippenberg, & Ilgen, 2017). July Jackson, Mathieu, & Saul, 2008). Third, with regard to the composition of our strategic leadership system, we focus our theorizing on two groups: TMTs and boards. In doing so, our theorizing emphasizes the two most critical groups for organizational outcomes (Finkelstein et al., 2009) and lays the groundwork for how groups at the apex of the firm can orchestrate their work processes more effectively. We also assume that board and TMT members have the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities to fulfill their individual primary roles, and do not theorize how changes in membership or power dynamics influence the system. We revisit these assumptions and boundary conditions in the “Discussion” section. In the following section, we begin building our theory of strategic leadership system functioning by briefly describing the proximal (group task performance, shared task performance) and distal (firm performance) outcomes that comprise system effectiveness (see Figure 1). Group Tasks The fulfillment of group functions (i.e., tasks completed by the board or TMT only) comprises group task performance and is well-established in the strategy and governance literatures (Dalton et al., 2007). The TMT manages internal operations on an ongoing basis: analyzing, formulating, and implementing strategies, policies, and tactics. Alternatively, the board monitors and advises TMT decisions and fulfills a fiduciary responsibility in approving major decisions and certifying financial results (Boivie, Bednar, Aguilera, & Andrus, 2016). The board is broadly responsible for overseeing CEO employment (e.g., compensation, succession planning), connecting the firm with external resource networks to alleviate resource dependencies, and ensuring that the general strategic direction protects the investment of capital providers, such as shareholders and creditors (Hillman & Dalziel, 2003). Boards are also responsible for managing reward systems that incentivize the TMT to fulfill its distinct tasks in alignment with shareholder desires to maximize return on their investment. Both TMT and board functions are critically important for firm performance. As corporations grow in scope and complexity, performance benefits accrue from the fulfillment of TMT functions (e.g., Carpenter, 2002; Pitcher & Smith, 2001). Simultaneously, regulatory changes and demanding shareholders increase the need for boards to fulfill their functions not only for firm performance but also for firm survival 2020 Luciano, Nahrgang, and Shropshire (e.g., Dowell, Shackell, & Stuart, 2011; Lynall, Golden, & Hillman, 2003). Shared Tasks Perhaps as an indirect effect of agency theory’s emphasis on independence between the board and TMT, in comparison to group tasks, less attention has been paid to the shared tasks of the TMT and board. Accordingly, we draw from the corporate governance, upper echelons, and MTSs literatures to identify the tasks shared by the board and the TMT. As boards and TMTs are strategy-oriented, information-processing groups who manage multiple interests, their shared tasks involve strategic visioning, aligning goals, and processing information. These shared tasks enable them to collectively pursue their superordinate goal and provide a more proximal linkage between board and TMT behaviors and firm performance. Strategic visioning. Strategic visioning involves a range of activities that often begin with the articulation and maintenance of a strategic vision. As a shared task, strategic visioning considers the internal and external context of the business to inform transformational initiatives in light of what is working and should be retained. Strategic visioning stimulates reflexivity— defining purpose and objectives in consideration of the firm’s past, present, and desired future states (Gavetti & Rivkin, 2007). A firm’s strategic vision captures its current state and envisioned future simultaneously (Collins & Porras, 1996), providing a shared frame to translate purpose into action, to protect firm viability, and to strengthen performance. The strategic vision has also been described as a map directing resource investment and deployment toward the firm’s overall purpose and objectives (Weick, 1979; Westley & Mintzberg, 1989), which enables superior performance (Lado & Wilson, 1994). Strategic visioning is both stable and adaptive, capturing a snapshot of current strategies and performance as well as establishing a trajectory for desired future growth (Finkelstein, Harvey, & Lawton, 2008). Whereas distinct group tasks include monitoring and managing strategy formulation and execution, visioning enables the TMT and board to jointly utilize relevant resources (e.g., Oehmichen, Schrapp, & Wolff, 2017) and to navigate the tensions of strategic management, such as exploiting existing competencies and exploring new opportunities, which are critical to sustaining firm performance (Lavie, Stettner, & Tushman, 2010; Smith & Tushman, 2005). Aligning goals. The shared task of aligning goals can be conceptualized as the level of goal priority 679 congruence and the compatibility of subgoals with the superordinate goal (Luciano, DeChurch, & Mathieu, 2018). Subgoals include a multiplicity of objectives chosen by the TMT or board, often without full knowledge by the other group and with potential incongruence with one another. We suggest that the TMT and board share the task of aligning goals in order to offset potential goal discordancy in the system. Substantiating the importance of aligning goals, prior research has shown that congruence in goal importance within the TMT relates positively to firm performance (Colbert, Kristof-Brown, Bradley, & Barrick, 2008), whereas incompatible subgoals and incentive systems may result in excessive risk taking (Sanders & Hambrick, 2007), risk aversion (Beatty & Zajac, 1994; Jensen & Meckling, 1976), or failures in succession planning (Wiersema, 2002; Zhang & Rajagopalan, 2004). The shared task of aligning goals also helps address foundational issues of corporate governance, namely the agency problem relating to the potential for diverging interests between principals (owners) and agents (TMTs). Processing information. The shared task of processing information involves iteratively gathering, interpreting, and selecting information (Hinsz, Tindale, & Vollrath, 1997). Effective information processing can be conceptualized as the degree to which information is taken in, interpreted, and used to make strategic decisions (e.g., Boivie et al., 2016; Hinsz et al., 1997; Mintzberg, Raisinghani, & Théorêt, 1976). In upper echelons research, scholars have noted that strategy making should extend beyond one person to include input from TMT (Hambrick & ... Purchase answer to see full attachment

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