The aim of this research projects is to investigate the influence of top managers and board of directors on firm strategy and performance over time. While previous research has established that the characteristics of the executive team and the corporate board have a significant impact on various aspects of firm strategy, little is done to investigate such influence over time. Furthermore, most previous research is conducted on North American samples, largely ignoring the influence of country level cultural and institutional factors. Based on a comprehensive sample of world largest 2000 MNCs and their internationalization strategies over a twenty year period (1988-2007), this project aims at investigating the extent to which heterogeneity in top managers and corporate directors characteristics influence firm international activities such as international strategic alliances, international M&As and establishment of foreign subsidiaries. By applying multilevel theory and method, this project will explore how such relationships vary across different cultural contexts and what are the factors that determine such differences. The project findings will have important implications for European MNCs as they will allow a comparison with American and Asia MNCs and to draw conclusion for similarities as well as differences in corporate elites’ characteristics and firm strategies among European countries.
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