The Handbook of Research on Top Management Teams
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The Handbook of Research on Top Management Teams

Edited by Mason A. Carpenter

This Handbook presents original research and theory on executives, top management teams, and boards of directors and illustrates the vital importance of this field of study.
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Chapter 14: CEO Leadership: A Research Agenda

Yan (Anthea) Zhang


Yan (Anthea) Zhang The question of “how do CEOs matter” has attracted significant scholarly attention in the past decades (e.g., Hambrick and Mason, 1984; Hambrick and Fukutomi, 1991; Shen and Cannella, 2002a, 2002b; Zhang and Rajagopalan, 2004; Zhang, 2008). Previous studies on this topic can be divided into two broad groups based upon their treatment of time. The first group focuses on the snapshots typically at the time when CEO leadership changes: either when a CEO is newly appointed or when a CEO leaves office. Studies in this group have examined associations between executive characteristics and behaviors, and organizational and environmental contexts (e.g., Gupta and Govindarajan, 1984; Datta and Rajagopalan, 1998; Zhang and Rajagopalan, 2003, 2004). Beck and Wiersema discuss how the governance context affects CEO dismissal in Chapter 15 of this volume. Inspired by Hambrick and Fukutomi (1991), the second group has focused on how the length of CEO tenure in office can affect organizational outcomes. Hambrick and Fukutomi (1991) divided a CEO’s tenure into five seasons: response to mandate, experimentation, selection of an enduring theme, convergence, and dysfunction. They argue that a CEO’s leadership in terms of his/her commitment to a paradigm, task knowledge, information diversity, task interest, and power changes over the course of his/her tenure. Based upon this argument, previous studies have examined the impact of CEO tenure and found that CEO tenure can have a significant impact on firm strategy and performance (e.g., Miller and Shamsie, 2001; Wu et al., 2005; Henderson et al., 2006;...

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