Benefiting from CEO's empowerment of TMTs: Does CEO–TMT dissimilarity matter?

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Benefiting from CEO's empowerment of TMTs: Does CEO–TMT dissimilarity matter?
The Leadership Quarterly

This study examines empowering leadership from an upper echelons perspective by focusing on top management teams (TMTs) and considering the demographic dissimilarities between the CEO and other TMT members. Data from a multisource survey of 129 Chinese firms demonstrate the importance of the fit between the backgrounds of the leader and the TMT members. Although empowerment of TMTs by CEOs predicts superior organizational performance in general, the findings show that this practice is most beneficial when the CEO and the TMT members differ in their informational demographics but have a longer tenure overlap. If either dissimilarity in informational demographics or tenure overlap is lacking, the CEO's empowerment of the TMT has a less positive effect on firm performance. Essentially, a three-way interaction is demonstrated. Introducing boundary conditions for the empowerment of TMTs by CEOs and testing their interactive influence broadens our understanding of how CEO leadership style can affect organizational performance, and refines the guidance for practitioners on TMT management.

The Leadership Quarterly, Volume 26, Issue 6, December 2015, Pages 1066–1079

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