Drawing on the classic concepts of integration and differentiation from contingency theory, we analyze the impact of influential business unit (BU) executives on the capital resource allocation decisions of the multibusiness firm. Capital resource allocation is one of the most important tasks of the top management team (TMT), yet management scholars have yet to explore the fundamental link between TMT structure and resource reallocation decisions. We hypothesize that greater BU influence within the firm’s TMT drives greater reallocation because BU executives are positioned to focus on organizational elements related to differentiation. We also hypothesize contextual factors, based on the multidimensional nature of managerial influence, which act to limit the effect of BU influence. To support this analysis, we develop two unique measures: The first captures the degree of capital reallocation from year to year within the multibusiness firm, and the second measures the relative influence of BU executives. An empirical analysis on the sample of Fortune 1000 firms confirms that BU influence is associated with capital reallocation and that BU influence is moderated by research and development (R&D) intensity and unrelated diversification.
- contingency theory
- resource allocation/management
- top management teams/upper echelons
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management