Managing the future: CEO attention and innovation outcomes
Additional Document Info
The current literature presents a mixed view of top managers, often characterizing them as an impediment to innovation, irrelevant for innovation, or, at best, having an indirect effect on innovation. In contrast, the authors use an attentional perspective to argue that chief executive officers (CEOs) have a positive, direct, and long-term impact on how firms detect, develop, and deploy new technologies over time. The authors test their arguments on longitudinal data from the U.S. retail banking industry. They show that CEO attention is a critical driver of innovation even (1) when the target of attention is not innovation per se but simply future events and external events in a generic sense; (2) when the innovation outcomes occur far in the future (sometimes several years in the future); (3) when the innovation outcomes are conceptually, empirically, and temporally distinct; and (4) in an empirical context (i.e., banking) that is not traditionally viewed as "high tech" and, thus, innovation centric. 2007, American Marketing Association.