Nonprofit Quarterly: Navigating Succession - Four Exiting CEO Mindsets

24 Mar 2021
The hypo-generative CEO has little commitment to developing the next generation of leaders. The generative CEO has a strong need to develop the next generation of leaders but has little need to control the succession process. The hyper-generative CEO has a strong commitment to developing the next company leader and a strong need to control the succession outcome. The anti-generative CEO has little commitment to developing the next round of leadership.

Originally found at Nonprofit Quarterly, by Aparna Anand Joshi,  Donald C. Hambrick, and Jiyeon Kang.

What determines a company’s readiness for navigating a CEO transition? Our proposed answer builds upon prior research on CEO succession, viewed through a novel theoretical lens based on generativity theory and the mindset of the exiting CEO.

We assess exiting CEO stances by focusing on two key dimensions: a) the CEO’s degree of commitment to developing the next generation of company leadership, and b) the CEO’s degree of need to control the succession process and outcome. A given CEO’s place on these two dimensions generates an overall “generativity mindset.”

Since a given CEO could score low or high on the two scalar dimensions of generativity, this creates four archetypes, as shown in Figure 1: a) the hypo-generative CEO, who has little need to develop the next generation or to control the succession outcome; b) the generative CEO, who has a strong need to develop the next generation but little need to control the succession outcome; c) the hyper-generative CEO, who has a strong need to develop the next generation and a strong need to control the succession outcome; and d) the anti-generative CEO who has little need to develop the next generation and a strong need to control the succession outcome—specifically a strong need to thwart the rise of potential replacements, so as to stay in office as long as possible.


Continue reading the original article at Nonprofit Quarterly.

Read the original research in Academy of Management Review.

Also read this AOM Insights summary citing this research.

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