Title: Position-specific knowledge, new CEO learning and firm performance

Authors: Torsten Wulf; Stephan Stubner

Addresses: Strategic and International Management, Philipps-University Marburg, Universitätsstraße 24, 35032 Marburg, Germany ' HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, Jahnallee 59, 04105 Leipzig, Germany

Abstract: 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.

Keywords: CEO-strategy fit; organisational learning theory; CEO learning; demographic experiences; firm performance; Chief Executive Officer; position-specific knowledge; new CEOs; Germany; executive succession research.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2013.052097

European Journal of International Management, 2013 Vol.7 No.1, pp.6 - 30

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 12 Feb 2013 *

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