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The effects of leader succession and prior leader experience on postsuccession organizational performance

Desai, Malay N.; Lockett, Andy; Paton, David


Malay N. Desai

Andy Lockett


In this article we strive to reconcile equivocal findings about the effects of top leader succession and prior leadership experience on postsuccession organizational performance. In doing so, we draw on insights from theories of human capital, learning, and asymmetric information to better understand the conditions under which leaders increase or decrease postsuccession performance. Employing a sample of 119 newly appointed leaders in the English Premier League (1996–2010), we find the following results. First, relating to the succession event, outside leaders that directly move between leadership positions are associated with higher postsuccession performance while the departure of a prior leader to a leadership position in another organization has a negative effect on postsuccession performance. Second, relating to prior leadership experience, leaders with domestic top leader experience are associated with lower postsuccession performance, while leaders with foreign top leader experience are associated with higher postsuccession performance.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 1, 2016
Journal Human Resource Management
Print ISSN 0090-4848
Electronic ISSN 1099-050X
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 55
Issue 6
Keywords leadership, recruitment, human capital
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Desai, M. N., Lockett, A. and Paton, D. (2016), The Effects of Leader Succession and Prior Leader Experience on Postsuccession Organizational Performance. Hum Resour Manage, 55: 967-984, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


Desai Lockett and Paton-Succession and prior experience on performance (002).pdf (578 Kb)

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