Execution and executive ability have become heated topics, especially in the corporate world. But trendy theories are not the solution to elementary problems, so efficient, effective execution methods still are required. To achieve its strategic goals, a corporation must achieve execution, by continually discovering and nurturing its executive ability.
The academic community has not agreed on an executive ability theory, or even a precise definition or measurement scales. This thesis reviews existing literature to define executive ability as a talent for efficient decision making and effective decision execution. Executive ability includes all capabilities and means from both the corporation and its employees, which are susceptible to various internal and external factors. Therefore, this thesis proposes the independent variables that influence corporate executive ability (CEA), including strategic, institutional, cultural, motivation, and competence factors. Individual differences among staff and differences across organizational characteristics lead to significant differences in the cognition of these variables.
The hypotheses tests include a field study with 12 nuclear power companies in China, which included 1,096 valid responses. The scale developed for this research achieves good internal consistency reliability and construct validity. Furthermore, the results show that 57.1% of the variance in CEA can be explained by six independent variables: organizational learning, organizational structure, corporate values, performance management, marketing, and human relations. Differences in individual and organizational characteristics produce significant differences in cognition of the independent and dependent variables, which establishes the theoretical foundation for relevant management measures to improve CEA.
The basic model of CEA provides a good definition of the concept of CEA, its basic structures, and key factors. In a case study, this thesis documents the key factors of executive ability in the Chinese nuclear power industry, which should further current management, leadership, and executive ability theories. Finally, using the conclusions in this research, it is possible to establish an assessment indicator system for CEA, which can support the quantitative measurement of the status and improvement needs for CEA. This thesis also points out some limitations and prospects for further research that can deepen and broaden this field.