Article | Strategic Organization | February 2012

CEO Relational Leadership and Strategic Decision Quality in Top Management Teams: The Role of Team Trust and Learning from Failure

by Abraham Carmeli, Asher Tishler and Amy C. Edmondson

Abstract

In this study, we examine a complex pathway through which CEOs, who exhibit relational leadership, may improve the quality of strategic decisions of their top management teams (TMTs) by creating psychological conditions of trust and facilitating learning from failures in their teams. Structural equation modeling (SEM) analyses of survey data collected from 77 TMTs indicate that the relationship between CEO relational leadership and team learning from failures was mediated by trust between TMT members; and team learning from failures mediated the relationship between team trust and strategic decision quality. Supplemented by qualitative data from two TMTs, these findings suggest that CEOs can improve the quality of strategic decisions their TMTs make by shaping a relational context of trust and facilitating learning from failures.

Keywords: Leadership Development; Decisions; Management Teams; Trust; Learning; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Managerial Roles; Failure;

Citation:

Carmeli, Abraham, Asher Tishler, and Amy C. Edmondson. "CEO Relational Leadership and Strategic Decision Quality in Top Management Teams: The Role of Team Trust and Learning from Failure." Strategic Organization 10, no. 1 (February 2012).