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CEO succession in family firms: Stewardship perspective in the pre-succession context

Yi-Min Chen, Hsin-Hsien Liu, Yung-Kai Yang and Wei-Hua Chen

Journal of Business Research, 2016, vol. 69, issue 11, 5111-5116

Abstract: CEO succession is a key theoretical and empirical issue in the fields of organizations and strategic management. Previous studies investigating the influences and effects of CEO succession mostly focus on post-succession contexts. This study focuses on the pre-succession context and offers a comprehensive theoretical framework based on agency theory and stewardship theory. Specifically, this study empirically tests the influence of several pre-succession factors on the founding CEO's decision to either sell the family firm or hire a professional manager as a successor. The results show that executive compensation schemes and industry dynamism separately influence the degree of stewardship through perceived pay premium and industrial growth potential. The findings help explain CEO succession decision-making in family firms, and provide empirical evidence for the incentive mechanisms between executive compensation schemes, industry dynamism, and professional managers' stewardship behaviors. This study broadens agency theory, stewardship theory, and upper echelons theory's explanation of CEO succession decision-making in family firms.

Keywords: CEO succession; Stewardship; Executive compensation scheme; Industry dynamism; Family firms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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