Reflexivity can prevent Top Management Teams (TMTs) from using decision biases that harm sound strategic decision making of TMTs. To ensure reflexivity, TMTs are supervised internally by supervisory boards, and externally by independent supervisory authorities, but there is theoretical debate on their respective impact. We propose that frequent internal supervision is associated with Board-TMT relationship conflict, but this relationship will be less strong when TMTs are supervised by boards with an open board composition (including newer members). When such conflict occurs it can harm TMT reflexivity, but we expect that this relationship will be less strong when external supervision increases. These hypotheses were supported in a multisource team-level data set collected in the field among TMTs (N = 111 TMT members) and their supervisory boards (N = 152 board members) of 56 insurance companies. This study advances empirical and practical knowledge on the distinct and interdependent impact of internal and external supervision on TMT reflexivity.
Keywords: internal supervision, external supervision, relationship conflict, boardroom dynamics, reflexivity, board composition.
JEL classifications: D74, G22, G38, G41.
Working paper no. 604