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Keywords:

  • top management teams;
  • international strategy;
  • behavioral integration;
  • firm performance;
  • uncertainty

Abstract

This research reexamines the link between top management team (TMT) heterogeneity and firm performance. Specifically, I theorize that the effects of education, work experience, and tenure on performance will depend upon the top management team's strategic and social context. In a test of such theorizing, I find that (1) the positive relationships between TMT educational, functional, and tenure heterogeneity and performance are contingent on complexity, as indicated by a firm's international strategy and, (2) such relationships are clearly stronger in short-tenured top management teams. The theory and results presented here provide impetus for future studies, as well as suggest to upper echelon researchers that they think more critically about the conditions under which demographic characteristics are most likely to influence organizational outcomes like performance. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.