woensdag 26 november 2008

PhD Dissertation

You can now download my PhD Dissertation "Where You Sit is Where You Stand" from the VU library.

A short summary:

Strategic decisions are taken by and affect individuals, who bring their own perspective into the decision-making process. These perspectives can be barriers as well as stimuli. In the broad gamma of strategic issues, corporate-level strategy is a key concept. Questions that need to be answered include: How should business units be aligned? How should this be managed? In which areas can we capture synergies? What are the roles of both HQ and the SBU’s?

I have researched how managers at different levels in a corporation answer these type of questions, by means of a psychological assessment of 350 (top) managers in 5 multinational firms, from CEO to sales-manager, from Dutchman, to American, to Frenchman, across age, functions and cultures. The central question I have been answering is: What is the influence of the position of managers on their perspective towards corporate-level strategy?

Results show that this influence is very high. Of practical importance are the enormous differences between managers at the business and headquarters level and between different managerial levels. Also large differences exist between countries. Because aligning the strategies and interests of different businesses across the firm is crucial in corporate-level strategy, aligning different beliefs across the group seems just as crucial in the strategy process.