S. (Somendra) Narayan

RSM - Rotterdam School of Management
Erasmus University Rotterdam
ERIM Doctoral Student
Field: Strategy & Entrepreneurship
Affiliated since 2015

PhD Project

Mental Origins of Strategy: Essays on the Impact of Managerial Cognition on Firm Strategic Renewal

Organizations are essentially comprised of people. Although structures, routines and practices account for a large variation in firm performance, human factors play a significant role in defining organizational trajectories. The concept of dynamic managerial capabilities and its applications in studying strategic change in organizations focuses on these human factors. Being an emergent approach to understating organizations, the dynamic managerial capabilities approach has immense possibilities. According to Helfat and Martin (2015), dynamic managerial capabilities focus on the study of managerial impact on strategic change. Their recent review of the field points out that the managerial impact in organizations is brought about by three underlying resources; Managerial Cognition, Managerial Social Capital and Managerial Human Capital. These three aspects cover a broad range of factors such as mental models and processes, emotions, social network ties and characteristics, relationships, educational qualifications and so on. The diversity in these managerial capabilities are conceptualized to be directly linked to diverse firm outcomes under conditions of change.

Focusing on managerial cognition this doctoral research project includes the following four studies. Firstly, a study of the moderating effect of TMT structural interdependence on the relationship between TMT characteristics and Business model innovation is done on a sample of North American publishing firms. The second study takes a different approach towards measuring managerial cognition by using CEO political ideology and studies its impact on TMT structures. The third study seeks to investigate the interaction between top and middle management by focusing on shared mental models and their impact on middle managers’ motivation. Lastly, a historical analysis of Business Model Innovation in specific context and settings is proposed to study the impact of managerial cognition on dynamic high-technology industries.

Managerial cognitive capabilities, business model innovation, dynamic managerial capabilities, top management team, structural interdependence, political ideology, TMT-MM interface, strategic renewal
Time frame
2015 -


Visiting address

Office: Mandeville Building T07-56
Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3062 PA Rotterdam

Postal address

Postbus 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam

Latest publication

S. Narayan, J. Sidhu & H.W. Volberda (2016, juli 7). Interdependent Top Managers and Business Model Innovation: The moderating effect of structural interdependence on upper echelon predictions. Napels, EGOS Conference.

Supervisory team

Somendra Narayan
Professor of Strategic Management & Business Policy
Somendra Narayan
Associate Professor of Strategic Management
Co-Promotor, Daily supervisor