The effects of inter- and intra-cultural variations on managerial discretion and the implications for national competitiveness

Haj Youssef, M. 2017. The effects of inter- and intra-cultural variations on managerial discretion and the implications for national competitiveness. PhD thesis University of Westminster Marketing and Business Strategy

TitleThe effects of inter- and intra-cultural variations on managerial discretion and the implications for national competitiveness
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsHaj Youssef, M.
Abstract

This thesis examines cross-cultural differences in managerial discretion and the extent to which variations in inter- and intra-cultural practices affect the degree of freedom in decision-making that is afforded to executives. Research into the degree of discretion, or ‘latitude’ of executive action, has primarily focused on individual-, firm-, and industry-level factors which, either enable or otherwise constrain the freedom of executive action. However, research into its national-level antecedents and consequences remains limited. This thesis further develops and extends the extant literature into the topic of managerial discretion by seeking to adopt a broader interpretation of national culture in relation to its effect on executive discretion across 18 countries from 6 different regional clusters.

The research entails a quantitative assessment to examine the relationship between cultural practices, managerial discretion and national competitiveness. The investigation into the national-level antecedents, consequences and the role of managerial discretion is studied using a mixture of primary and secondary data. Primary data consists of measurements of the degree of managerial discretion that is derived from survey responses of a panel of senior management consultants, who provided 792 discretion scores for the sampled countries. Secondary data consists of cultural practices derived from GLOBE cross-cultural project and national competitiveness scores operationalized using the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI).

The thesis presents three empirical analyses of socio-cultural dynamics. The research first addresses how cross-national variations in cultural practices impact managerial discretion. The findings reveal that institutional collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance, future-, humane-, and performance orientations, together with gender egalitarianism, assertiveness and cultural looseness, all influence the degree of discretion. In the second dimension, the notion that intra-cultural variation plays a crucial role in shaping managerial discretion is critically discussed. An empirical analysis supports such a proposition and demonstrates a strong and positive association between these two constructs. For the third aspect, the relationship between managerial discretion and national performance is measured and evaluated by determining the impact upon national competitiveness. The data demonstrate that the degree of discretion directly influences national competitiveness and effectively mediates the relationship between cultural practices and national competitiveness.

Overall, this PhD contributes to the field of strategic management, by discovering for the first time new national-level antecedents and consequences of managerial discretion, offering new theoretical insights and practical implications.

Year2017
FileHaj Youssef_Moustafa_thesis.pdf

Related outputs

Strategizing in a Focused Context: Managerial Discretion in the Arab World
Haj Youssef, M. and Christodoulou, I. 2017. Strategizing in a Focused Context: Managerial Discretion in the Arab World. Journal of Strategy and Management. 10 (4), pp. 430-452. doi:10.1108/JSMA-04-2016-0029

Intra-Cultural Variation, Zone of Acceptance and Managerial Discretion: A Theoretical Discussion
Haj Youssef, M. and Christodoulou, I. 2017. Intra-Cultural Variation, Zone of Acceptance and Managerial Discretion: A Theoretical Discussion. Business and Management Research. 6 (1), pp. 42-53. doi:10.5430/bmr.v6n1p42

Assessing Miles and Snow Typology through the Lens of Managerial Discretion: How National-Level Discretion Impact Firms Strategic Orientation
Haj Youssef, M. and Christodoulou, I. 2017. Assessing Miles and Snow Typology through the Lens of Managerial Discretion: How National-Level Discretion Impact Firms Strategic Orientation. Management and Organizational Studies. 4 (1), pp. 67-73. doi:10.5430/mos.v4n1p67

Assessing the Generalizability of Managerial Discretion: An Empirical Investigation in the Arab World
Haj Youssef, M. and Christodoulou, I. 2017. Assessing the Generalizability of Managerial Discretion: An Empirical Investigation in the Arab World. Journal of Management and Strategy. 8 (1), pp. 28-36. doi:10.5430/jms.v8n1p28

National-level antecedents and consequences of managerial discretion: A study CEOs’ discretion across 18 countries
Haj Youssef, M. 2016. National-level antecedents and consequences of managerial discretion: A study CEOs’ discretion across 18 countries. Strategic Management Society Annual Meeting. Berlin, Germany 17 - 20 Sep 2016

Managerial discretion in emerging markets: What’s new and what’s different
Haj Youssef, M. and Christodoulou, I. 2016. Managerial discretion in emerging markets: What’s new and what’s different. Emerging Markets Conference, Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg University. St. Petersburg, Russia 06 - 08 Oct 2016

Cross-National Differences in Managerial Discretion: Insights from the Middle East
Haj Youssef, M. and Christodoulou, I. 2016. Cross-National Differences in Managerial Discretion: Insights from the Middle East. British Academy of Management Conference 2016 (BAM2016). Newcastle University, Newcastle 06 - 08 Sep 2016 British Academy of Management.

Managerial Discretion in the Arab World: New National-Level Antecedents
Haj Youssef, M., Christodoulou, I. and Dassler, T. 2016. Managerial Discretion in the Arab World: New National-Level Antecedents. European Academy of Management 2016: Manageable Co-operation?. Paris 01 - 04 Jun 2016 EURAM.

The Impact of Cultural Practices on CEOs’ Discretion: New National-Level Antecedents.
Haj Youssef, M. and Christodoulou, I. 2016. The Impact of Cultural Practices on CEOs’ Discretion: New National-Level Antecedents. 7TH WORKSHOP ON TOP MANAGEMENT TEAMS AND BUSINESS STRATEGY RESEARCH. Groningen, Netherlands 07 Apr 2016

What's Missing in the National-level Managerial Discretion Dimension
Haj Youssef, M. and Christodoulou, I. 2015. What's Missing in the National-level Managerial Discretion Dimension. 6TH WORKSHOP ON TOP MANAGEMENT TEAMS AND BUSINESS STRATEGY RESEARCH. Antwerp, Belgium 26 Mar 2015

How Formal and Informal Institutions of Middle Eastern Countries Influence Managerial Discretion: An Empirical Investigation
Haj Youssef, M., Christodoulou, I. and Dassler, T. 2015. How Formal and Informal Institutions of Middle Eastern Countries Influence Managerial Discretion: An Empirical Investigation. British Academy of Management Conference 2015 (BAM2015). Portsmouth 08 - 10 Sep 2015 British Academy of Management.

Strategic tensions within the smartphones industry: the case of BlackBerry
Youssef, M.H. and Haj Youssef, M. 2013. Strategic tensions within the smartphones industry: the case of BlackBerry. VISTAS: Education, Economy and Community. 3, pp. 125-141.

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