Chapter 1: Nepotism - CEO Succession, Ownership and Enterprise Performance
By JAN-PHILIPP AHRENS, SANDRA GOTTSCHALK, AND MICHAEL WOYWODE
We consider the effects of CEO successions on enterprise performance in medium-sized enterprises with strong ownership concentration (family firms). By evaluating an unique data set we show that firms which install relatives or heirs as CEO successors perform worse as compared to firms which install external CEO successors. Furthermore we identify the driving forces behind this inferior performance as lower human capital and a lower propensity to implement organizational changes, which is presumably caused by limited selectivity of CEO succession contests due to concentrated ownership structures. Interestingly, no performance gap is observable for well-chosen high human capital family successors.
(JEL: E32, G30, J24, L25, M51)
Keywords: CEO succession, ownership structure, nepotism, agency costs, firm performance.
Chapter 2: Inside CEO Successions in Family Firms: Should Predecessors Stay Active or Cultivate Roses?
By JAN-PHILIPP AHRENS, MICHAEL WOYWODE, AND JAN ZYBURA
Employing an unique data set on CEO successions, we analyze the circumstances under which departing CEOs stay active within their enterprise subsequent to a CEO succession and highlight enterprise performance implications. We find that the likelihood of predecessor activity is increased by family succession, nepotism and tacit knowledge, but reduced by the successor’s human capital, successor’s ownership and corporate age. The performance impact of prolonged predecessor activity is positive for successors with low human capital, but turns negative with increased successor human capital, while this negative impact is amplified by the degree of influence of the preceding CEO.
(JEL: G32, G34, L25, M1, M51)
Keywords: CEO succession, firm performance, family owned business, human capital, leadership transition
Chapter 3: Gender Preferences in CEO Successions in Family Firms: Family Characteristics and Human Capital of the Successor
By JAN-PHILIPP AHRENS, ANDREAS LANDMANN, AND MICHAEL WOYWODE
We investigate labor market constraints in CEO succession contests devising an unique data set on CEO successions in enterprises with concentrated ownership and control. We find that a preference for male family heirs limits labor market selectivity: Family successions are significantly more likely to occur when a son is among the predecessor’s children as compared to daughters. Sons among the children increase the likelihood of nepotistic successions, while in turn female family successors are equipped with higher human capital due to tougher selectivity criteria. Furthermore, the regional industry supply of CEO resources influences the observed human capital of installed successors.
(JEL: G30, J13, J24, L26, M51)
Keywords: CEO succession, family firms, family characteristics, human capital, promotion decisions.
Chapter 4: Restructuring, Human Capital, and Enterprise Performance in CEO Successions in Family Firms
By JAN-PHILIPP AHRENS AND MICHAEL WOYWODE
Devising an unique data set we analyze managerial actions and their performance impact during CEO successions in family firms. We find that corporate change unleashes additional performance due to accumulated improvement potentials from the pre-succession period. High human capital successors implement more changes and perform significantly better when compared to low human capital successors. Furthermore, the amount of observed changes is subject to the economic contingency and is highest in CEO successions in turnaround situations. In particular reviews of the supplier relations, the product portfolio, and the compensation scheme were found to significantly enhance performance.
(JEL: G30, G34, L25, M10, M51)
Keywords: CEO succession, family firms, organizational restructuring, turnaround management, human capital, firm performance.
Chapter 5: Entrepreneurship under Imperfect Institutions.
By JAN-PHILIPP AHRENS AND MICHAEL WOYWODE.
We consider the effects of imperfect institutions on entrepreneurial activity. Employing a microeconomic model, we argue abnormal uncertainty and transactions costs reduce profitability and volume of entrepreneurial activity while companies complying with good practices enjoy rewards in the optimal contracts. However, applied to an international context, counterintuitive niche cases where imperfect institutions enhance the wealth of nations occur, mirroring seemingly contrary findings in the development literature. Policies and business strategies to escape imperfect institutions are discussed, casting light on medieval merchant guilds or township and village enterprises and arguing for a holistic approach when introducing policies for institutional change.
(JEL: D02, D21, D82, D86, F23, L26, O34, O43, R00)
Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Principal-Agent Model, Institutions, Institutional Change, Development Economics