Abstract

A common assumption in the entrepreneurship literature is that the venture may outgrow the managerial capabilities of their founding teams and that subsequently founders are replaced by a professional manager (Drucker, 2006; Tashakori, 1980; Willard, Krueger, & Feeser, 1992). However, evidence on the impact of founder-CEO succession is mixed (Begley, 1995; Carroll, 1984; Daily & Dalton, 1992) and moderators found in the traditional CEO succession literature of established firms may not readily apply in the context of new ventures (Wasserman, 2003). Given the importance of the entrepreneurial top management team (eTMT) for organizational outcomes (Ensley, Pearson, & Amason, 2002; Hambrick & Mason, 1984) yet its scant consideration in executive succession, we look at what happens within the eTMT subsequent to a founder-CEO succession and how this relates to the venture’s performance.

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