Competitive Repertoire Complexity: A Potential Mediator in the Upper Echelons Propositions?

  •  Patriciah G. Mwangi    
  •  Zachary B. Awino    
  •  Kennedy O. Ogollah    
  •  Ganesh P. Pokhariyal    


This study sought to evaluate the relationships between top management team (TMT) heterogeneity, competitive repertoire complexity and firm performance. The study was grounded on the upper echelons theory which argues that the TMT characteristics affect the organization’s performance through their influence on strategic choices. This study sought to investigate this relationship using the complete array of strategies deployed by heterogeneous TMTs. The study was conducted through a cross sectional descriptive survey of 53 large food and beverage manufacturers in Kenya. Primary data and secondary data was collected through a structured questionnaire and checklist respectively and analyzed by descriptive and inferential statistics. The study established that TMT heterogeneity had a significant negative effect on financial, internal processes and social performance in line with the upper echelons theory. Competitive repertoire complexity was not associated with TMT heterogeneity and did not significantly mediate the relationship between TMT heterogeneity and firm performance as expected from the information processing theory. This study contributed to the strategic management field by providing empirical evidence to the upper echelons and resource based view. Managers would benefit by careful consideration of how their TMTs were designed. Policy makers would also be aware about the competitive actions they adopted and their effect on their organizations performance.

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