1. Motivation, positioning, and outline
The questions of whether strategic leaders really matter, perhaps to a different extent, and under which conditions they matter more or less, are important to a wide array of topics, including studies of strategic decision processes, executive compensation, and governance regulation (e.g., Collins et al., 2009; Eisenhardt and Bourgeois 1988). Based on the idea that chief execu- tive officers (CEOs) wield dominant power and enjoy an exposed position in the board (Finkelstein, 1992), considerable research has attempted to clarify whether, and under what conditions, they have an impact on organizational outcomes (for overviews, see Bowman and Helfat, 2001; Carpenter, Gelet- kanycz, and Sanders, 2004).1 Researchers focus primarily on US settings to show that CEOs matter, and that environmental as well as individual factors affect the degree to which they matter (Crossland and Hambrick, 2007). They have found that CEOs influence firm strategies, policies, and structure (e.g., Boeker, 1997; Miller and Toulouse, 1986; Papadakis and Barwise, 2002) as well as performance (e.g., Chatterjee and Hambrick, 2007; Miller and Tou- louse, 1986). However, investigators have given less attention to the idea that other C-level leaders may matter as well, that strategic leaders’ impact may be different in national settings other than the US, and that their impact may depend on particular organizational factors. Despite lack of convincing evidence, most managers and academics would agree that, like the CEO, the chief financial officer (CFO) occupies a par- ticularly prominent position in the firm (Finkelstein, Hambrick, and Can- nella, 2009; Marcel, 2009; Tulimieri...
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