20 Pages

Matching Managers to Strategies: Point and Counterpoint *

WithAnil K. Gupta

An emerging and increasingly popular theme in the strategic management literature has been that the selection of general managers should be tied directly to the strategies of business units they will oversee. This chapter analyses the two perspectives so that managers might be left clearer rather than more confused about what to do with respect to matching managers to strategies, and researchers might find new and worthwhile avenues for further inquiry. The argument that different skills are needed to implement different types of strategies would not be of much salience if general managers came from similar backgrounds and the repertoire of skills and orientations possessed by most general managers was broad enough to enable selective application of different skills in different contexts. Management development needs imply that, to prepare an individual for more senior positions in the corporate hierarchy, it may often be desirable to deliberately mismatch—rather than match—managers to strategies.