Capability Development and Decision Incongruence in Strategic Opportunity Pursuit


Correspondence to: J. Robert Mitchell, Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond Street North, London, ON N6A 3K7, Canada. E-mail:


In strategic opportunity pursuit, decision incongruence (the gap between the decision-making rationale that an individual conveys to others and the rationale that informs his/her actual decisions) can lead to difficulties achieving the commitment necessary to grow a venture. To understand why some individuals have greater decision incongruence in strategic opportunity pursuit than others, we conducted a field experiment to test how a configuration of theoretically-based capability-building mechanisms—codification, general human capital, and specific human capital—affected 127 CEOs' decision incongruence. The results indicate that codification decreases decision incongruence the most for CEOs with low general but high specific human capital. Copyright © 2012 Strategic Management Society.