The Effects of CEO turnover under conditions of complexity

In June 2018, I visited Higher School of Economics in St Petersburg, Russia. As part of this research collaboration, Dr Aleksandrova and myself presented our joint paper with Prof Mickiewicz and Prof. Liu on “The Effects of CEO Turnover under Conditions of Complexity” during a research seminar organized on June, 13th, 2018. Further details can be found this press release.

Anna Grosman (Loughborough University)
Tomasz Mickiewicz (Aston University)
Xiaohui Liu (University of Birmingham),
Ekaterina Aleksandrova (Higher School of Economics)

Abstract. We investigate why sometimes the new CEO brings a positive effect to the firm, and sometimes the short-term effect is negative. We posit that while both effects are present simultaneously, which one will dominate is contingent on complexity. We see the latter as an overarching heuristic concept that helps us to reconcile the phenomena that have not been integrated into one theory before. We argue that CEO turnover is unlikely to be positive in the short run and under conditions of complexity, precisely organizational complexity (related to larger firms or part of business groups), relational complexity (associated with firms with state or foreign ownership), or environmental complexity (for firms in high-tech industries or engaging in international trading). We stress bounded rationality and cognitive limitations.

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