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Unionization and CEO turnover

Nancy D. Ursel and Ligang Zhong

Industrial Relations Journal, 2022, vol. 53, issue 1, 53-70

Abstract: This article investigates whether unions have power to influence turnover of poorly performing chief executive officers (CEOs). Employing the transparency coalition framework, we develop hypotheses regarding CEO tenure given unionization, performance‐turnover sensitivity, and firm performance following CEO turnover. We use Cox regression and a data set of US firms from 1993 to 2013 to show that CEO turnover is accelerated at firms that unionize. Discontinuity analysis suggests that the relationship is causal. Overall, the results show the significance of unions in the key corporate governance event of CEO turnover and suggest that, though they may proceed independently and for their own traditional goals of good pay and job conditions for their members, unions can be allies of investors and boards or directors when it comes to removing underperforming CEOs.

Date: 2022
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Handle: RePEc:bla:indrel:v:53:y:2022:i:1:p:53-70