Top Management Teams; Strategic Decision Making; Influencing Behavior; Team Constellations; Upper Echelons; Video Ethnography;
Two major themes in the upper echelon decision making literature are the efficacy of the CEO and the composition of the top management team (TMT). Little research has examined their intersection. This study addresses the call to reveal the social processes within TMTs, by focusing on CEO-TMT member interaction in decision making.Drawing on video ethnographic data of two TMTs, the authors explore the patterns of interactions between CEOs and TMT members in their strategic decision making meetings. Through an analysis of 20 issue discussions, the authors identify five “constellations”, a team level construct capturing the core relational dynamics that are created through mutual CEO-TMT member influence during a team's discussion of a strategic issue.The authors explain how these constellations unfold and their implications for the processes and outcomes of TMT strategic decision making. The authors then elaborate how their findings contribute to the TMT and upper echelon literatures, as well as their understanding of team politics.