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Sharing Executive Power


  • 2 tables
  • Page extent: 302 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.486 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521601078 | ISBN-10: 052160107X)

DOI: 10.2277/052160107X

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 (Stock level updated: 17:00 GMT, 30 November 2015)


In many companies, two or three executives jointly hold the responsibilities at the top-from the charismatic CEO who relies on the operational expertise of a COO, to co-CEOs who trust in inter-personal bonds to achieve professional results. Their collaboration is essential if they are to address the dilemmas of the top job and the demands of today's corporate governance. Sharing Executive Power examines the behaviour of such duos, trios and small teams, what roles their members play and how their professional and inter-personal relationships bind their work together. It answers some critical questions regarding when and how such power sharing units form and break up, how they perform and why they endure. Understanding their dynamics helps improve the design and composition of corporate power structures. The book is essential reading for academics, graduates, MBAs, and executives interested in enhancing teamwork and cooperation at the top.

• An original and stimulating analysis of leadership structures and their implications • Case studies from the automobile, financial and creative sectors • Historical examples ranging from the Roman Empire to the White House


Figures; Tables; Introduction; Part I. Contingencies and Roles in Structuring Corporate Power: 1. Contingencies of corporate power structures; 2. Managing the 'infinite job' solo: executive dilemmas, roles and actions; 3. Roles and relationships as parameters of corporate power structures; Part II. Small Numbers at the Top: 4. Professional duos; 5. Trios and bigger executive constellations; 6. United careers of small numbers at the top; Conclusion; Bibliography; Appendix.

Prize Winner

Terry Book Award for the book's contribution to the advancement of management knowledge 2007 - Short-listed


'Even though popular images of power center on a solitary heroic figure at the top, the reality of power at the top is increasingly different. Power is often shared among a small group of co-leaders (think CEO-COO, co-CEOs, CEO-Chairman, etc). Alvarez and Svejenova are pioneers in tackling this understudied leadership phenomenon. This book helps us understand shared leadership at the top both theoretically and practically. It is a must read for scholars interested in leadership and for practitioners who understand the necessity and difficulty of creating effective shared leadership.' Nitin Nohria, Harvard Business School

'The authors highlight the importance of roles and integration as key elements of organisational governance. They reveal the central roles of rules, politics and trust as central to strategic decision making amongst the corporate elite. Full of well-researched cases and examples, this book stands with the pioneering books of organisation and contingency theories upon whose inspiration it draws. A must read for those interested in governance, power and strategic decision making.' David C. Wilson, Professor of Strategy and Organisation, University of Warwick Business School

'Alvarez and Svejenova take on and debunk one of the oldest beliefs in business - that there can be only one chief. More often than not, innovations in business happen between people, not within them; so why not apply that thinking to the top? Sharing Executive Power is a great read for anyone looking to create more value from their leadership structure.' Jerry A. Greenberg and J. Stuart Moore, Co-Chief Executive Officers, Co-Chairmen of Sapient Corp.

'… worth reading for both organizational theorists and practitioners in the field. The theoretical arguments are introduced and developed with high level academic rigour. At the same time, several accounts of the 'real world' are provided. The originality of the approach is preserved and constantly substantiated with both practical and theoretical support.' Journal of Management and Governance

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