Founder CEO succession: The role of CEO organizational identification

Joon Mahn Lee, Dalee Yoon, Steven Boivie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing from the organizational identification literature, we theorize that founder CEO succession decisions are dependent on the strength of these CEOs’ organizational identification with their firms. Our theoretical premise is that factors that decrease founder CEOs’ organizational identification—namely, prior entrepreneurial experience and the number of cofounders—will positively affect their voluntary succession. Conversely, factors that increase founder CEOs’ organizational identification—specifically, the length of time that their organization was a private firm and core founder status—will negatively affect their voluntary succession. We find strong support for our arguments in the context of firms that undertook an initial public offering during the period from 2000 to 2013. Our findings enable us to illustrate that founder CEOs’ succession decisions may be better understood by considering factors that might influence their psychological traits rather than focusing only on their performance and control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-245
Number of pages22
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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