How Top Management Team State Orientation Influences Corporate Social Performance

Workshop’s Topic: Building upon social role theory and upper echelons theory, we seek to advance research on SOEs and strategic leadership by examining how major aspects of SOEs’ corporate social performance (CSP) are influenced by top management teams’ (TMT) state orientation, the degree to which top executives represent the government’s ideology in decision making. SOEs have grown in both number and size around the globe and their total assets are half of global GDP. The theory explains why a stronger TMT state orientation leads to 1) better environmental performance, 2) better societal outcomes, captured by less corruption-related spending and more charitable donations, 3) higher employee compensation and lower intraorganizational pay dispersion, but 4) worse financial performance. Using an original set of unobtrusive indicators of TMT state orientation, we find support for our theoretical expectations after analyzing a large and longitudinal sample of public SOEs in China between 2003 and 2017. In explaining how TMT state orientation influences SOEs’ CSP, our study offers a theoretical explanation for the heterogeneity in the CSP of these organizations while significantly broadening the ambit of upper echelons research. Our study also contributes to upper echelons research by developing theory about how the governmental system and state ideology influence organizational outcomes through top managers.

Time and Location: 14:00-16:00 PM (GMT+8), Room A423 (School of Management)

Language: Bilingual (Chinese and English)

Introduction of Speakers

Prof. ZHU Hongquan

Arizona State University, Department of Management and Entrepreneurship

David H. Zhu is a Professor in Management and Entrepreneurship and Dean’s Council Distinguished Scholar at the Arizona State University. His research builds on behavioral theories to examine strategic decision making of top executives and entrepreneurs, innovation, corporate governance, digitalization, and corporate strategy. He also studies the structure of corporate elite networks and resource exchange networks. His work has been published in top scholarly journals, including Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, and Strategic Management Journal, and has received several international awards from Academy of Management and Strategic Management Society. He is a Senior Editor of Organization Science and a Deputy Editor of Management and Organization Review. He also serves as the Vice President and Program Chair Elect of International Association for Chinese Management Research and the Chair of the Strategic Leadership and Governance group of Strategic Management Society. David is an experienced business educator and has taught and coached many top executives around the world. His research has been featured in Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and BBC Future, among others.