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http://ssrn.com/abstract=2008247
 
 

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Executive Links and Strategic Change: Is Unit Spanning by Executives Associated with Market Entry and Exit?


Charles Williams


Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology

Samina Karim


Boston University

November 1, 2011

Boston U. School of Management Research Paper No. 2012-7

Abstract:     
Firms frequently create executive links by sharing people between units to transfer and combine knowledge. These links, however, potentially strengthen social ties and cognitive filters that reduce the possibility of strategic change. Our analysis of medical firms finds that executive links between units, especially between business units and the corporate unit, are associated with reduced market entry and exit. This finding runs counter to the prevalent view that sharing of individuals is an effective way to spread and combine diverse knowledge such that it initiates change. It suggests that the cognitive and social commitments from shared executives may undermine the knowledge diffusion and transformation expected to arise from these links.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 43

Keywords: executive links, knowledge recombination, boundary spanning, dynamic capabilities, organizational structure, strategic change, inertia

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Date posted: February 20, 2012 ; Last revised: March 27, 2012

Suggested Citation

Williams, Charles and Karim, Samina, Executive Links and Strategic Change: Is Unit Spanning by Executives Associated with Market Entry and Exit? (November 1, 2011). Boston U. School of Management Research Paper No. 2012-7. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2008247 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2008247

Contact Information

Charles Williams
Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology ( email )
Via Roentgen 1
Milan, MI 20136
Italy
Samina Karim (Contact Author)
Boston University ( email )
595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617-353-4289 (Phone)
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