Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings includes abstracts of all papers and symposia presented at the annual conference, plus 6-page abridged versions of the “Best Papers” accepted for inclusion in the program (approximately 10%). Papers published in the Proceedings are abridged because presenting papers at their full length could preclude subsequent journal publication. Please contact the author(s) directly for the full papers.

The Double-Edged Effects of Top Managers' Commitment to the Status Quo on Firms’ Crisis Resolution

    Published Online:

    This study offers a new, balanced portrayal of top management teams’ psychological commitment to the status quo (CSQ). Specifically, we extend the thus far predominantly negative view of CSQ found in upper echelons research by theorizing both negative and positive effects of top management teams’ CSQ on the interpretation and resolution of organizational crises. Although high levels of CSQ hinder the implementation of the systemic organizational changes needed to avoid problem reoccurrences, they also motivate top managers to resolve organizational crises more quickly if the organization has previously amassed sufficient slack resources. Using a set of product-safety crises in the U.S. pharmaceutical and medical device industries, we find support for the proposed dual effects of CSQ and related managerial interpretations of organizational crises as either threats or opportunities. We also show that this double-edged aspect is particularly crucial for top management teams that are highly committed to the status quo. Thus, we contribute to the emerging strategic leadership perspective on crisis management.

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