Collecting Data on TMTs’ Organizational Design: Good Practices from the StiMa Project
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Studying how Top Management Teams (TMTs) organize their managerial labor and decision-making processes is a relevant research avenue in light of the prominence of TMTs within modern firms. However, data on TMTs’ organizational design are usually not available from secondary sources and must instead be collected through surveys given to top executives. To help researchers in this difficult endeavor, the present paper offers a set of good practices for designing and implementing surveys on TMTs’ organizational design. To this end, we use as a basis the first-hand experience that we gained by working on the StiMa project, a large-scale data collection effort concerning the TMTs of a representative sample of Italian firms. We describe in detail all of the steps that we followed in preparing and administering the survey and in setting up and executing the additional data collection from secondary sources, which integrates survey data. We are confident that the lessons we learned from the StiMa project will help scholars in gathering better data on TMTs’ organizational design, thus advancing academics’ and practitioners’ conversations on the topic.