Span of Control and Span of Attention
London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics
Harvard University - Strategy Unit; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Harvard Business School
April 30, 2014
Harvard Business School Strategy Unit Working Paper No. 12-053
Columbia Business School Research Paper No. 14-22
Using novel data on CEO time use, we document the relationship between the size and composition of the executive team and the attention of the CEO. We combine information about CEO span of control for a sample of 65 companies with detailed data on how CEOs allocate their time, which we define as their span of attention. CEOs with larger executive teams do not save time for personal use, or to cultivate external constituencies. Instead, CEOs with broader spans of control invest more in a “team” model of interaction. They spend more time internally, specifically in pre-planned meetings that have more participants from different functions. The complementarity between span of control and the team model of interaction is more prevalent in larger firms.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 41working papers series
Date posted: February 9, 2014 ; Last revised: April 30, 2014
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