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Top management team hyperopia

MacKay, David and Burt, George and Perchard, Andrew (2012) Top management team hyperopia. In: 32nd Strategic Management Society Conference, 2012-10-06 - 2012-10-09. (Unpublished)

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Hyperopia describes the condition of being able to focus with acuity on that which is far off (temporally, spatially or cognitively) whilst experiencing difficulty in interpreting and acting on that which is close at hand. In this paper, managerial hyperopia is empirically explored as an unintended consequence of a top management team’s shared preference for strategic foresight generating practices. Data from a single in-depth case study, analysed through a realist social theoretical lens, is used to explore underlying factors and potential implications of managerial hyperopia. Our findings suggest that managerial hyperopia emerges from top management team practices privileging strategic foresight over strategic insight. These practices encapsulate a relatively frequent exposure to external institutional actors and infrequent interaction with internal organizational actors. Whilst strategic foresight techniques are intended to generate learning towards achieving long term organizational growth and survival, short term consequences of managerial hyperopia appear to harm the performance and sustainability of the organization. To avoid the emergence of managerial hyperopia, practitioners engaging in strategic foresight techniques are urged to undertake complementary strategic insight generating techniques focussed on the here and now. Further replication studies are suggested to establish the generalizability of the implications developed.