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How top management team diversity affects innovativeness and performance via the strategic choice to focus on innovation fields


  • Talke, Katrin
  • Salomo, Sören
  • Rost, Katja


Past innovation research has largely neglected potential effects of corporate governance issues on strategic choices, and thereby on innovation management outcomes. The theory of upper echelon implies that strategic choices result from idiosyncrasies of top management teams (TMT). Building on this theory, we hypothesize that TMT diversity enhances firm performance by facilitating an innovation strategy that increases the firm's new product portfolio innovativeness. Our findings support the relevance of considering a corporate governance view for explaining innovation outcomes. Empirically, we can show that TMT diversity has a strong impact on the strategic choice of firms to focus on innovation fields. Such focus then drives new product portfolio innovativeness and firm performance. As corporate governance arrangements thus seem relevant in the context of innovation management, we can derive implications for both policy makers and innovation researchers.

Suggested Citation

  • Talke, Katrin & Salomo, Sören & Rost, Katja, 2010. "How top management team diversity affects innovativeness and performance via the strategic choice to focus on innovation fields," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 907-918, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:39:y:2010:i:7:p:907-918

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Balsmeier, Benjamin & Buchwald, Achim & Stiebale, Joel, 2014. "Outside directors on the board and innovative firm performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(10), pages 1800-1815.
    2. Hutzschenreuter, Thomas & Horstkotte, Julian, 2013. "Performance effects of international expansion processes: The moderating role of top management team experiences," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 259-277.
    3. Juan Pablo Diánez-González & Carmen Camelo-Ordaz, 2016. "How management team composition affects academic spin-offs’ entrepreneurial orientation: the mediating role of conflict," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 530-557, June.
    4. Stefano Denicolai & Birgit Hagen & Alessia Pisoni, 2015. "Be international or be innovative? Be both? The role of the entrepreneurial profile," Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 390-417, December.
    5. William Q. Judge & Helen W. Hu & Jonas Gabrielsson & Till Talaulicar & Michael A. Witt & Alessandro Zattoni & Félix López-Iturriaga & Jean Jingham Chen & Dhirendra Shukla & Majdi Quttainah & Emmanuel , 2015. "Configurations of Capacity for Change in Entrepreneurial Threshold Firms: Imprinting and Strategic Choice Perspectives," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 506-530, June.
    6. Joanna Tyrowicz & Jakub Mazurek, 2017. "All on board? New evidence on board gender diversity from a large panel of firms," GRAPE Working Papers 5, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    7. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:2:p:413-427 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Buchwald, Achim, 2015. "Competition, outside directors and executive turnover: Implications for corporate governance in the EU," DICE Discussion Papers 174, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    9. Cacciolatti, Luca & Lee, Soo Hee, 2016. "Revisiting the relationship between marketing capabilities and firm performance: The moderating role of market orientation, marketing strategy and organisational power," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 5597-5610.
    10. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:1:p:218-231 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:spr:grdene:v:24:y:2015:i:6:d:10.1007_s10726-014-9424-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:7:p:1312-1326 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Galbreath, Jeremy, 2017. "Drivers Of Environmental Sustainability In Wine Firms: The Role And Effect Of Women In Leadership," Working Papers 253851, American Association of Wine Economists.
    14. repec:eee:jbrese:v:76:y:2017:i:c:p:127-135 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:spr:scient:v:111:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2322-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Abigail Cooke & Thomas Kemeny, 2016. "Immigrant Diversity and Complex Problem Solving," Working Papers 16-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    17. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:10:p:1899-:d:115917 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:2:p:498-510 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Buchwald, Achim & Thorwarth, Susanne, 2015. "Outside directors on the board, competition and innovation," DICE Discussion Papers 173, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    20. Kraiczy, Nils D. & Hack, Andreas & Kellermanns, Franz W., 2014. "New product portfolio performance in family firms," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(6), pages 1065-1073.
    21. Jenny María Ruiz-Jiménez & María del Mar Fuentes-Fuentes & Matilde Ruiz-Arroyo, 2016. "Knowledge Combination Capability and Innovation: The Effects of Gender Diversity on Top Management Teams in Technology-Based Firms," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 503-515, May.
    22. Boari, Cristina & Riboldazzi, Federico, 2014. "How knowledge brokers emerge and evolve: The role of actors’ behaviour," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 683-695.


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