Economia e Politica Industriale

, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 175–213 | Cite as

Collecting data on TMTs’ organizational design: good practices from the StiMa project

  • Paola RovelliEmail author
  • Cristina Rossi-Lamastra


Studying how Top Management Teams (TMTs) organize their managerial labor and decision-making processes is a relevant research avenue in light of the prominence of TMTs within modern firms. However, data on TMTs’ organizational design are usually not available from secondary sources and must instead be collected through surveys given to top executives. To help researchers in this difficult endeavor, the present paper offers a set of good practices for designing and implementing surveys on TMTs’ organizational design. To this end, we use as a basis the first-hand experience that we gained by working on the StiMa project, a large-scale data collection effort concerning the TMTs of a representative sample of Italian firms. We describe in detail all of the steps that we followed in preparing and administering the survey and in setting up and executing the additional data collection from secondary sources, which integrates survey data. We are confident that the lessons we learned from the StiMa project will help scholars in gathering better data on TMTs’ organizational design, thus advancing academics’ and practitioners’ conversations on the topic.


Survey research design Organizational design Top management teams Chief Executive Officers TMT members 

JEL Classification

C83–Survey Methods, Sampling Methods L2–Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior 



The authors wish to thank Professors Emilio Bartezzaghi, Raffaella Cagliano, Massimo G. Colombo, Annachiara Longoni for their work on the StiMa project. Moreover, they acknowledged the invaluable contribution and energy that our dear colleague, Professor Gianluca Spina, provided to the project. Professor Spina passed away in February 2015, but his vision still inspires our work. Master students Gabriele Alboni, Giulia Arsie, Giulia Bazzerla, Silvia Bevilacqua, Martina Bonanomi, Alberto Bonvini, Federico Brambilla, Giorgio Corallo, Camilla Curnis, Alessandro Gibellini, Cristina Krobot, Matteo Mariani, Niccolò Martellini, Irene Mohammadi Masoudi, Chiara Passoni, Nicolò Perugini, Giuditta Piacenti, Stefania Siro, and Angela Vitale provided very good research assistantship. All the mistakes rely solely upon the authors.


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Copyright information

© Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management, Economics and Industrial EngineeringPolitecnico di Milano School of ManagementMilanItaly

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