S. (Somendra) Narayan MSc

Somendra Narayan
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
ERIM PhD Candidate
Field: Strategy & Entrepreneurship
Affiliated since 2015

Somendra's doctoral research is a series of essays on the nuances of the relationship between diversity in decision-making teams and organizational outcomes, such as business model innovation. The first of the four studies in the anthology, employs longitudinal data from the North American printing and publishing industry, to investigate the effect of cognitive diversity and diversity of political ideology on the scope of managerial attention to as well as the intensity of business model innovation. The second study explores the opposing effects of top management team cognitive diversity on technology-focused versus marketplace-focused business model innovation. Further, a positive moderation effect of structural interdependence among the teams on this relationship enriches the tested conceptual model. In the third study, a cognitive perspective is adopted in an exploratory analysis of the complexity and focus in the managers’ cognitive schemas of their business models. Combined, these three studies result in a nuanced conceptual model of the dual nature of diversity among western professionals and corporations. However, the effects of diversity vary across national, cultural and socio-political contexts. To further explore this, the fourth study investigates the effects of socio-economic and sub-cultural diversity on the success of initiatives for profitable social impact in the context of participatory forest management in India.

In addition to this PhD track Somendra is active in research in the field of Bottom of Pyramid markets as well as valorization efforts.

PhD Track 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 -

Editorial positions

  • Journal of Organizational Change Management

    Ad Hoc Reviewer


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