Strategic change in incumbent organizations: a behavioral perspective

Fabry, Hannah Rita Katharina; Piller, Frank Thomas (Thesis advisor); Blazevic, Vera (Thesis advisor)

Aachen (2023)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Dissertation, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, 2023


Extant research in the field of strategic management argues that the chief executive officer (CEO) is a central actor in designing and maintaining the alignment between internal structures and the external environment of an organization (Farjoun, 2021). However, executives seldom make decisions in isloation but interact with various actors during the process. Indeed, Cyert and March argue that organizations are a collection of people that build a political coalition. Although, the Behavioral Theory of the firm (BTOF) has made this claim almost 60 years ago, our understanding of how different subcoalitions jointly shape strategic decisions is rather limited (Blettner, He, Hu, & Bettis, 2015). Coalitions are dynamic, meaning that not all actors are part of the coalition at all times depending on the task, time and function (Cyert & March, 1963). Yet, scholars rarely consider other actors within coalitions (apart from the TMT) that may affect strategic decisions executives are held accountable for. In my dissertation, I try to fill this theoretical gap building on the ideas of the BTOF. Since prior scholars have convincingly demonstrated that executives are a more than relevant actor in strategic decision-making (Gioia & Chittipeddi, 1991; Hambrick & Finkelstein, 1987), the thesis focuses on the interdependencies between executives and other actors of the coalition during strategic decision-making processes.


  • Chair of Technology and Innovation Management (TIM) [812710]