De-mystifying the top management team structure: A review of top management team diversity literature and current research trends

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Lehrstuhl für Wirtschaftswissenschaften für Ingenieure und Naturwissenschaftler
Bachelor; Master


Diversity is currently one of the most pressing priorities on top decision makers' agendas. Having different facets / sources (gender, nationality, age, experience, etc.) and being present at all company levels, this study narrows down the extant diversity research to focus on the effects stemming from career experiences at the top management team level.

This thesis consists of a structured literature review comprising:
- Diversity research on top management teams focused on career/ experience diversity. E.g.: functional diversity, industrial diversity, firm background, education, tenure etc.) comparing CEO vs. CxO vs. TMT studies
- Overview of researched outcomes (e.g.: innovation, strategic change)
- Overview of employed measures, incl. potential critique

Crossland, C., Zyung, J., Hiller, N. J., & Hambrick, D. C. (2014). CEO career variety: Effects on firm-level strategic and social novelty. Academy of Management Journal, 57(3), 652-674.
Canella, A. A., Park, J. H., & Lee, H. U. (2008). Top management team functional background diversity and firm performance: examining the roles of team member collocation and environmental uncertainty. Academy of Management Journal, 51(4), 768-784.
Harrison, D. A., & Klein, K. J. (2007). What's the difference? Diversity constructs as separation, variety, or disparity in organizations. Academy of management review, 32(4), 1199-1228.
Matta, E., & Beamish, P. W. (2008). The accentuated CEO career horizon problem: Evidence from international acquisitions. Strategic Management Journal, 29(7), 683-700.

Keywords: Top management team, TMT, diversity, CEO