Center for Research on Strategic AlliancesKellogg School of Management
Center InfoResourcesContactKellogg Home Page
General Resources
Journal Articles & Publications
Internal Site
Northwestern University

Who Shall Succeed? How CEO/Board Preferences and Power Affect the Choice of New CEOs
Edward J. Zajac and James D. Westphal, Academy of Management Journal, January 1996, Vol. 39, No.1, 64-90

This study shows how social psychological and sociopolitical factors can create divergence in the preferences of an incumbent CEO and existing board regarding the desired characteristics of a new CEO, and how relative CEO/board power can predict whose preferences are realized. Using extensive longitudinal data, we found that more powerful boards are more likely to change CEO characteristics in the direction of their own demographic profile. Outside successors are also typically demographically different from their CEO predecessors but demographically similar to the boards.

(full text article-Kellogg community only)
(to request a full-text copy, email the center)


©2001 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University