Changes at the Top: The Antecedents of Executive Turnover and Succession

Sydney Finkelstein, Donald C. Hambrick and Albert A. Cannella

in Strategic Leadership

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780195162073
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199867332 | DOI:

Series: Strategic Management Series

 Changes at the Top: The Antecedents of Executive Turnover and Succession

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This chapter begins with a broad introduction to the concept of CEO succession. In the first major section, it discusses the drivers of executive succession, focusing on several important antecedents of succession such as organizational performance, agency conditions, organizational characteristics, the environment, and predecessor characteristics. Much of the discussion of antecedents emphasizes involuntary turnover or dismissal. In the second section, the chapter focuses on the dynamics of the CEO succession process, analyzing types of succession and the influence of the incumbent CEO versus the board of directors. The final section assesses the question of who will be selected. Topics here include insider versus outsider selection and the broader issues of continuity versus change.

Keywords: CEO succession; relay succession; horse race succession; insider CEO succession; outsider CEO succession; succession processes

Chapter.  14637 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Business Strategy

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