Transcending borders with international top management teams: A study of European financial multinational corporations

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Journal Article
European Management Journal, 2009, 27 (3), pp. 213 - 224
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This paper investigates how changes in firm degree of internationalization are associated with the configuration of top management teams (TMT) based on a dataset of 41 large European firms in the banking and insurance industry, including detailed career profiles of the 264 executives that were serving on the TMTs of these firms at year-end 2002. Our findings suggest firms tend to match top executive profiles to their strategies. Entry into new foreign markets and new cultural zones was found to be associated with higher levels of international capacity at TMT level, whereas changes in international posture per se are not related to TMT international capacity. We discuss the interplay between firm strategies and internal structures in the context of firm internationalization and suggest directions for future research on TMTs.
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