Polychronicity in top management teams: The impact on strategic decision processes and performance of new technology ventures

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Abstract

This study focuses on polychronicity as a cultural dimension of top management teams (TMTs). TMT polychronicity is the extent to which team members mutually prefer and tend to engage in multiple tasks simultaneously or intermittently instead of one at a time and believe that this is the best way of doing things. We explore the impact of TMT polychronicity on strategic decision speed and comprehensiveness and, subsequently, its effect on new venture financial performance. Contrary to popular time-management principles advocating task prioritization and focused sequential execution, we found that TMT polychronicity has a positive effect on firm performance in the context of dynamic unanalyzable environments. This effect is partially mediated by strategic decision speed and comprehensiveness. Our study contributes to research on strategic leadership by focusing on a novel value-based characteristic of the TMT (polychronicity) and by untangling the decision-making processes that relate TMT characteristics and firm performance. It also contributes to the attention-based view of the firm by positioning polychronicity as a new type of attention structure. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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