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Executive succession and firm performance: the role of position-specific skills

  • Building on strategy-CEO fit research and organizational learning theory, we explore the relationship between CEO succession – specifically a certain skill set of the new CEO – and post-succession performance. For this purpose, we introduce the concept of position-specific skills of a new CEO and empirically test it using a sample of 59 CEO succession events that occurred between 1990 and 2005 in 50 of the largest publicly listed companies in Germany. Results show that position-specific skills of new CEOs actually have an influence on post-succession performance during the early tenure of a CEO. Thus, we conclude that organizational learning theory and position-specific skills of new CEOs offer a promising basis for executive succession research and that they deserve further attention.

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Document Type:Working Paper
Author:Torsten WulfORCiD, Stephan Stubner
Chairs and Professorships:Chair of Strategic Management and Digital Entrepreneurship
Year of Completion:2009
HHL-Arbeitspapier 86. Leipzig: HHL - Leipzig Graduate School of Management, 2008