Chief executive scanning emphases, environmental dynamism, and manufacturing firm performance

Document Type


Publication Date



CEO, scanning, dynamism, manufacturing, performance


Chief executives must allocate their scarce time for scanning efforts among relevant domains of their firms' external environment and their firms' internal circumstances. We argue that high‐performing CEOs vary their relative scanning emphases on different domains according to the level of dynamism they perceive in their external environments. The concepts of dominant logic and sector importance were used to develop predictions about which external domains and which internal domains should receive relatively more or less scanning emphasis in external environments that, overall, are more dynamic or more stable. A field survey of 105 single‐business manufacturing firms evaluated CEOs' scanning emphases and firm performance. Results indicated that, for dynamic external environments, relatively more CEO attention to the task sectors of the external environment and to innovation‐related internal functions was associated with high performance. In stable external environments, however, simultaneously increased scanning of the general sectors in the external environment and efficiency‐related internal functions produced higher performance. These relationships were strongest between relative scanning emphases among domains and sales growth. We discuss the implications of these results for researchers and practitioners.

Recommended Citation

Garg, Vinay K., Bruce A. Walters, and Richard L. Priem. "Chief executive scanning emphases, environmental dynamism, and manufacturing firm performance." Strategic management journal 24, no. 8 (2003): 725-744.

DOI for the article



Management and Information Technology