PurposeWhether an organization’s political behaviour is positively related to its performance has been a long-standing question. Most studies elaborating on this issue, although rich in detail, primarily have been limited to case studies, apart from a niche set of studies in international business. This study aims to explore this question through a survey study of managers and executives from around the world, across a range of industries.Design/methodology/approachThe study explores the link between politics, the ability of a firm to speedily reach the market and its growth rate through a study of 382 executives from across the world. It also investigates alternative explanations of slow speed to market due to power centralization, decision-making layers and conflict.FindingsThe results show that politics – the observable but often covert actions through which executives influence internal decisions – has a direct negative effect on a firm’s ability to reach the market first and on its growth rate. That is, not only is politics time-consuming but it may also have a detrimental impact on the selection of the best growth opportunities.Originality/valuePolitics does have a negative impact on growth; it slows down a firm’s growth and its ability to reach the market. This study eliminates possible alternative explanations of a slow pace to market: slower companies are not so because they have too many decision-making layers but because they use consultative processes in resource-allocation decisions, or because of conflict.
Review of International Business and Strategy – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 6, 2017
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