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The Dynamics of the Strategic Apex - Investigating Antecedents and Outcomes of Corporate Headquarters Change

abstract A distinct organizational entity, by Mintzberg (1979) depicted as the strategic apex and nowadays frequently referred to as corporate headquarters (CHQ), earmarks the multi-business corporation. This entity has attracted considerable scholarly attention and managerial interest over the last decades. How CHQ of multi-business corporations should manage the portfolio of businesses is indeed one of the key concerns of corporate strategy. Accordingly, previous studies explored raison d'être, roles and distinctive characteristics of this entity.
An essential tenet of extant research on CHQ holds that this entity fulfills internal and external-oriented roles. Both, the internal and external environment continually evolve. Ever changing business demands as well as complex and turbulent environments eventually raise questions about the dynamics of CHQ. Yet, most research directly examining CHQ is static and, thus, leaves us with little knowledge about the specific phenomenon of CHQ change. This is astonishing considering the vast amount of research on the dynamics of other corporate strategy facets. The lack of knowledge is also in contrast to the privileged status attributed to this entity and recurring calls for redesigning or downsizing of CHQ.
By means of a cumulative Ph.D. thesis, we aim at investigating CHQ change. We propose three studies: In study A and B, we intend to examine the phenomenon based on a quantitative, deductive theory-testing approach. In each of the studies, we apply a distinct theoretical lens. While in the former, we investigate antecedents to CHQ change from an upper echelons perspective, in the latter we rely on organizational contingency theory to research into antecedents and outcomes of CHQ change. In study C, we seek a qualitative research approach to investigate corporate-level functional strategies. Overall, the studies address distinct aspects of the contemporary phenomenon of CHQ change.
The proposed thesis strives for several contributions to theory and practice. Mainly, the thesis draws attention to the dynamics of CHQ and thereby adds to corporate strategy literature. The findings also inform activities of corporate managers, boards and strategy consultants.
   
keywords Corporate strategy, corporate headquarters, corporate headquarters change
   
partner
type dissertation project
status completed
start of project 2011
end of project 2011
additional informations
topics Corporate strategy, corporate headquarters, corporate headquarters change
methods Quantitativ
profile area SoM - Responsible Corporate Competitiveness (RoCC)
contact Sven Kunisch