Date of Award

Summer 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration-Management

Committee Director

William Q. Judge

Committee Member

Barbara Bartkus

Committee Member

Timothy Madden

Committee Member

Edward Markowski


The enterprise strategy (ES) of the firm is the overarching organizational strategy which reflects the firm's degree of integration with society. It asks, "What do we stand for?" Very little is known about the ES; however, it is an important construct which can deepen our understanding of the stakeholder management process and the firm's long-term performance. Unlike much previous ES research, this three-essay dissertation examines both the nature of and the antecedents for ES in a cross-national setting.

The introductory essay offers a conceptual model describing the organizational identity orientation effects on the multinational enterprise's (MNE) ES. Additionally, it shows the interactive effects between the organizational identity orientation and the institutional identity orientation on the ES.

The second essay utilizes the two theoretically-suggested dimensions of the ES—scope and type—to develop an ES measure. A computer-aided text analysis of 439 stakeholder letters of multinational and US firms revealed the presence of ES language. A reliable and valid ES measure was then constructed. A subsequent analysis produced ES configurations which broadly align with the four ideal ES types of Meznar, Chrisman, and Carroll (1991)—Narrow Defensive, Narrow Offensive, Broad Defensive and Broad Offensive.

This research is extended in a third essay examining the impact of the diversity in the MNE's environment on the ES. Using a multi-level analysis, this study first explores the effects of the top management team's (TMT) and the board of directors' (BOD) gender diversity, the TMT functional diversity, and the BOD's stakeholder representation on the levels of the ES integration of 287 MNEs from 30 countries in 2011. The moderating effects on the above relationships emerging from the political culture of an MNE's home country are also tested. According to the findings, gender diversity in the upper echelons positively influences the level of ES integration. This relationship is moderated by the political culture of the home country. The BOD stakeholder representation also positively influences the level of ES integration, but this relationship is not influenced by the MNE's home-country political culture. Finally, the relationship between the top management team functional diversity and the dependent variable is not significant.


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