CEO succession : the role of leadership styles on employee perceptions of the organisation. (2018)
Type of ContentElectronic Thesis or Dissertation
Degree NameMaster of Science
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
AuthorsDavies, Brendanshow all
CEO succession is now considered one of the most pivotal events in an organisation’s lifecycle, and yet CEO succession research continues to provide conflicting results as to the effect that a succession has on the organisation and employees. The purpose of the current study was to explore whether CEOs’ discrepant leadership styles are reflected on CEO succession outcomes. 230 employees of an Australasian organisation participated in an online survey at four time points over three years (2013-2015). The survey assessed changes to employee perceptions of the organisation over time, during which a CEO succession took place between a leader exhibiting a passive management-by-exception transactional style to one with a marked transformational leadership style. Perceptions of learning culture, organisational commitment, and engagement all improved concurrently with the succession, while perceptions of alignment and participation did not significantly improve between the time points that marked this transition. The mean ratings for all variables did, however, increase steadily over the four time points. The findings indicate that a CEO succession can indeed be an adaptive event in an organisation’s lifecycle. Furthermore, the findings also suggest that what renders CEO succession adaptive or disruptive, particularly with respect to impact on employees, may be best understood considering specific contingencies, namely the CEOs’ leadership styles.