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Product Innovation and Educational Diversity in Top and Middle Management Teams

Author

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  • Schubert, Torben

    (CIRCLE, Lund University)

  • Tavassoli, Sam

    (RMIT University)

Abstract

The effects of diversity in management teams on firm innovation have become an important topic in strategic management. With a few exceptions, however, the literature has focused on diversity in Top Management Teams (TMTs), while the role of lower management levels, particularly in Middle Management Teams (MMTs), has usually been neglected. In this paper, we intend to fill this gap by explicitly differentiating between the effects of diversity in TMTs and MMTs. By matching various firm-level and individual-level datasets, we compiled a linked employer-employee panel dataset for Sweden for the period 2004–2012. Focusing on measures of educational diversity, we find that the effects differ considerably between MMTs and TMTs. TMTs diversity determines whether firms engage in innovation activities at all (strategic decision), while MMTs diversity affects the actual outcome of innovation processes (successful product innovations and their degree of market novelty).

Suggested Citation

  • Schubert, Torben & Tavassoli, Sam, 2019. "Product Innovation and Educational Diversity in Top and Middle Management Teams," Papers in Innovation Studies 2019/3, Lund University, CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2019_003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Aistleitner, Matthias & Gräbner, Claudius & Hornykewycz, Anna, 2021. "Theory and empirics of capability accumulation: Implications for macroeconomic modeling," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(6).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Product innovation; diversity; middle management; top management; firm performance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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