Harnessing diversity and collective action in the top management team

Paula Jarzabkowski, Rosalind H. Searle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diversity has become an important issue at all levels of the company from the boardroom to the back office. It is increasingly apparent that diversity is vital to productivity, with academic research indicating an important link between diverse top management team (TMT) composition and corporate performance. However, the nature of this link remains elusive, as there is little accessible research that can help top teams to evaluate how diversity impacts on their strategic capacity. This paper seeks to fill this gap by developing a conceptual framework, illustrated with case examples, to explain the relationships between TMT diversity and TMT collective action. As collective action is difficult to attain from top teams that are high in diversity, six practical processes are developed from this framework for establishing and exploiting top team strategic capacity. The paper concludes by outlining the theoretical implications of the framework. © Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-419
Number of pages21
JournalLong Range Planning
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2004


  • diversity
  • boardroom
  • back office
  • productivity
  • diverse top management team composition
  • corporate performance
  • strategic capacity


Dive into the research topics of 'Harnessing diversity and collective action in the top management team'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this