The impact of strategic dissent on organizational outcomes: A meta-analytic integration
For 40 years, management researchers have assumed that a management team with differing opinions on business strategy results in better strategic decisions. Even if there is conflict. But a research team of which Daan van Knippenberg was part came to a different conclusion.
Whereas diversity of thought can be an asset, the same is not true of differing opinions about the company’s strategic direction among senior management. Diversity of perspectives can lead to better solutions to complex problems, but only if team members are open-minded enough to listen carefully to each other and are willing to truly incorporate a different point of view into their decision-making process. This does not seem to apply to disagreements about what business strategy should be.
After integrating data from dozens of scholarly articles, the team found that differing views of a company’s strategic direction among senior managers negatively impact strategic decision-making and business performance. In their study, “The impact of strategic dissent on organizational outcomes: A meta-analytic integration,” the team identifies two main causes:
- First, strategic disagreement causes a relationship breakdown between senior managers. And when two parties retreat in the belief that the other party is wrong they are not open to further information.
- Second, strategic disagreement leads to less relevant information being exchanged between managers. Inevitably, this roadblock hinders the decision-making process.
Download this full study from the Wiley Online Library, or read more at the site of Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Business.
Strategic Management Journal – Issue 39 – 2018
Go to this research
This research is available for a fee in the Wiley Online Library.