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Transcending borders with international top management teams: A study of European financial multinational corporations


  • Greve, Peder
  • Nielsen, Sabina
  • Ruigrok, Winfried


Summary This paper investigates how changes in firm degree of internationalization are associated with the configuration of top management teams (TMT) based on a dataset of 41 large European firms in the banking and insurance industry, including detailed career profiles of the 264 executives that were serving on the TMTs of these firms at year-end 2002. Our findings suggest firms tend to match top executive profiles to their strategies. Entry into new foreign markets and new cultural zones was found to be associated with higher levels of international capacity at TMT level, whereas changes in international posture per se are not related to TMT international capacity. We discuss the interplay between firm strategies and internal structures in the context of firm internationalization and suggest directions for future research on TMTs.

Suggested Citation

  • Greve, Peder & Nielsen, Sabina & Ruigrok, Winfried, 2009. "Transcending borders with international top management teams: A study of European financial multinational corporations," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 213-224, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eurman:v:27:y:2009:i:3:p:213-224

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    Cited by:

    1. Leona Aimée Henry & Tine Buyl & Rob J.G. Jansen, 2019. "Leading corporate sustainability: The role of top management team composition for triple bottom line performance," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 173-184, January.
    2. Gietl, Daniel, 2018. "Overconfidence and Bailouts," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 132, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    3. Szymon Kaczmarek & Winfried Ruigrok, 2013. "In at the Deep End of Firm Internationalization," Management International Review, Springer, vol. 53(4), pages 513-534, August.
    4. Gietl, Daniel & Haufler, Andreas, 2018. "Bonus taxes and international competition for bank managers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 41-60.
    5. Schmid, Stefan & Dauth, Tobias, 2014. "Does internationalization make a difference? Stock market reaction to announcements of international top executive appointments," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 63-77.
    6. Suat BEGEÇ, 2013. "Effective Diversity Management Initiatives," International Review of Management and Marketing, Econjournals, vol. 3(2), pages 63-74.
    7. Ravasi, Claudio, 2013. "Les top managers internationaux des grandes entreprises suisses: profils et parcours de carrière," FSES Working Papers 445, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
    8. Schmid, Stefan & Altfeld, Frederic & Dauth, Tobias, 2018. "Americanization as a driver of CEO pay in Europe: The moderating role of CEO power," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 433-451.
    9. Sabina Tasheva & Bo Bernhard Nielsen, 0. "The role of global dynamic managerial capability in the pursuit of international strategy and superior performance," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 0, pages 1-20.
    10. Greve, Peder & Biemann, Torsten & Ruigrok, Winfried, 2015. "Foreign executive appointments: A multilevel examination," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 674-686.
    11. Plöckinger, Martin & Aschauer, Ewald & Hiebl, Martin R.W. & Rohatschek, Roman, 2016. "The influence of individual executives on corporate financial reporting: A review and outlook from the perspective of upper echelons theory," Journal of Accounting Literature, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 55-75.
    12. Lutz Sommer, 2012. "The Measurement of International Experience as a Dimension of Board Indices: Concept for an Improvement," International Journal of Business Administration, International Journal of Business Administration, Sciedu Press, vol. 3(4), pages 2-19, July.
    13. van Veen, Kees & Sahib, Padma Rao & Aangeenbrug, Evelien, 2014. "Where do international board members come from? Country-level antecedents of international board member selection in European boards," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 407-417.
    14. Oxelheim, Lars & Gregori, Aleksandra & Randøy, Trond & Thomsen, Steen, 2013. "On the Internationalization of Corporate Boards," Working Paper Series 951, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    15. Georgakakis, Dimitrios & Dauth, Tobias & Ruigrok, Winfried, 2016. "Too much of a good thing: Does international experience variety accelerate or delay executives’ career advancement?," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 425-437.
    16. Gietl, Daniel & Kassner, Bernhard, 2020. "Managerial Overconfidence and Bank Bailouts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 202-222.
    17. Michaela Wrede & Tobias Dauth, 2020. "A temporal perspective on the relationship between top management team internationalization and firms' innovativeness," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 41(4), pages 542-561, June.
    18. Dauth, Tobias & Pronobis, Paul & Schmid, Stefan, 2017. "Exploring the link between internationalization of top management and accounting quality: The CFO’s international experience matters," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 71-88.
    19. Håkanson, Lars & Ambos, Björn & Schuster, Anja & Leicht-Deobald, Ulrich, 2016. "The psychology of psychic distance: Antecedents of asymmetric perceptions," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 308-318.
    20. Đerđa Dino, 2017. "International Experience in Upper Echelon Theory: Literature Review," Business Systems Research, Sciendo, vol. 8(2), pages 126-142, September.
    21. Carlos González, 2019. "Revealing a Social Dimension of Internationalization: Transnational Board Interlocks as a Social-Based Proxy for the Degree of Internationalization of the Firm," Management International Review, Springer, vol. 59(2), pages 253-276, April.
    22. Schmid, Stefan & Wurster, Dennis J., 2017. "International work experience: Is it really accelerating the way to the management board of MNCs?," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 991-1008.


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