Opening the Black Box of Upper Echelons in China: TMT attributes and Strategic Flexibility

Tang Wang (Corresponding Author), Dirk Libaers, Hao Jiao* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Many scholars have suggested that strategic flexibility is a critical firm capability to survive in today’s competitive arena. But, where does strategic flexibility come from? We examine the relationships between top management team’s socio-psychological attributes (shared vision, social integration and political ties) and strategic flexibility, which we decompose into organizational flexibility and technological flexibility. We further examine how the level of competitive intensity can moderate the relationships. We test our hypotheses in a sample of 227 firms from China. We find that organizational flexibility mediates the impact of TMT social integration and political ties on technological flexibility. Our results extend previous research by highlighting the importance of TMTs socio-psychological attributes in driving technological flexibility, through the mediating impact of organizational flexibility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-703
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Product Innovation Management
Issue number5
Early online date24 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015

Bibliographical note

The authors are indebted to JPIM editor Gloria Barczak and anonymous reviewers for their many helpful insights and suggestions in improving this paper. The research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant #71202029).


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