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Position-specific knowledge, new CEO learning and firm performance

  • Building on organisational learning theory and CEO-strategy fit research, we introduce the concept of position-specific knowledge of a new CEO and explore its impact on the learning process that new CEOs go through after taking office and on firm performance during their early tenure. We empirically test this concept using a sample of 59 CEO succession events that occurred between 1987 and 2002 in 48 of the largest publicly listed companies in Germany. Results show that position-specific knowledge of new CEOs indeed has an influence on firm performance during the early tenure of a CEO. Thus, we conclude that organisational learning theory and position-specific knowledge of new CEOs offer a promising lens for executive succession research and that they deserve further attention.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Torsten WulfORCiD, Stephan Stubner
Chairs and Professorships:Chair of Strategic Management and Digital Entrepreneurship
Year of Completion:2013
In: European Journal of International Management, 7 (2013) 1, 6-30