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Revisiting the “matching managers to strategy” argument in the context of a firm’s internationalisation strategy

Szymon Kaczmarek (Bayer SCG, Gdańsk, Poland)
Richard B. Nyuur (Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

Multinational Business Review

ISSN: 1525-383X

Article publication date: 8 June 2021

Issue publication date: 13 July 2021




This paper aims to revisit the long-standing in the management literature argument of “matching managers to strategy” in the new empirical context of the top management team (TMT) and firm internationalisation. The purpose of this paper is to examine the consequences of matching nationalities of the TMT members to the multinational corporations’ (MNC) countries of operation.


This research is based on the quantitative methods. The authors use the traditional regression analysis, with the ordinary least squares estimation, in the moderated multiple regression models.


The study findings point to the importance of the asset-based exposure to international environments for the benefits of the TMT nationality matching to materialise. They re-affirm the critical remarks on the early “matching managers to strategy” frameworks, which indicated that the effectiveness of matching is underpinned by the detailed specification of the matching contingencies that influence the matching process.


The measure of matching the TMT foreign nationals to the MNCs’ host countries constitutes a novel way of capturing the TMT internationalisation, as opposed to measuring the incidence of foreigners on the TMTs or the TMT nationality diversity variable. It therefore underlines the aspect of matching in terms of the cultural fit between the TMT nationalities and countries of MNCs’ operations.



The authors would like to thank Professor Winfried Ruigrok (University of St. Gallen) for his helpful comments at the early stages of this research project, as well as Mr. Łukasz Knioła and Mrs Pauline Sobiesuo- Nyuur for their research assistance. The authors are also grateful to the Editor, Dr Chang Hoon Oh, and the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback and continuous support throughout the review process. Finally, Dr Szymon Kaczmarek wishes to acknowledge support of the research funding from the European Commission/Marie Curie Actions for Early Stage Researchers, grant number: MEST-CT-2004–007885.


Kaczmarek, S. and Nyuur, R.B. (2021), "Revisiting the “matching managers to strategy” argument in the context of a firm’s internationalisation strategy", Multinational Business Review, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 348-373.



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