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Do CEOs shape the process of making strategic decisions? Evidence from Greece

Vassilis M. Papadakis (Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens, Greece)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 1 March 2006



Seeks to investigate the extent to which CEOs shape the process of making strategic decisions (SDs). Despite the significant research interest in this topic, knowledge is still incomplete.


Using evidence from a sample of 107 SDs, studied in Greece, the present paper explores the influence of CEO personality and demographic characteristics on the process of making SDs. A number of environmental and internal organisational variables are used as control variables measuring the broader context.


The results suggest that the broader context is on average more influential than the CEO. However, the CEO's demographic characteristics appear to influence several process characteristics (i.e. rationality, hierarchical decentralisation and politicisation). CEO personality characteristics do not appear to have any significant influence on the process.

Research limitations/implications

This paper focuses on only a few personality and demographic characteristics. The use of a different set of CEO characteristics (e.g. functional specialisation, etc.) as well as the characteristics of the top management team is more than welcome. More empirical studies are needed to replicate and extend this study by examining variables not included here.

Practical implications

Conventional wisdom as well as recent empirical evidence holds that the management style of Greek companies tends to be rather centralised, and dominated by one powerful individual. The results contradict this belief. It seems that in order to survive and achieve long‐term viability, Greek companies were forced to introduce changes in their management style, including a more team‐based style of decision making. In such a context, personality characteristics of the CEO or any other single influential player may not decisively affect the SD process.


Few studies have examined empirically the influence of such a combination of factors on strategic decision processes.



Papadakis, V.M. (2006), "Do CEOs shape the process of making strategic decisions? Evidence from Greece", Management Decision, Vol. 44 No. 3, pp. 367-394.



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