Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Post-Succession Leadership: Factors Affecting New Leader Ability to Impact Change
by Bolton, Rebecca S., D.Mgt., University of Maryland University College, 2017, 211; 10275772
Abstract (Summary)

Executive level turnover is an unavoidable challenge for organizations in every sector. The challenges associated with leadership turnover have been explored in a variety of contexts, most frequently focused on how turnover impacts organizational performance, yet very little research has focused on post-succession leadership. This evidence based dissertation found that a transitioning leader’s efforts to affect change impacts performance and identified those factors that impact a post-succession executive leader’s ability to implement change.

Current research focuses on whether or not leadership turnover affects performance and whether or not the performance is affected negatively or positively. There is a lack of consistency in the findings that turnover itself impacts performance or that turnover either has a negative or positive effect. This inconsistency in overall findings suggests that the impact on performance following a leadership transition is not due to the transition itself, but other factors. One of the primary leadership actions taken to affect performance following executive-level leadership transition is the new leader’s initiation of change during the transitional period.

This dissertation to provide context as to how leadership actions affect change in a post-transition organizational environment and thereby impact performance following an executive-level turnover. Through systematic review of 53 articles, including primary research studies and gray literature, studies identified 19 elements that pointed to the leader’s ability to influence the organization, the organization’s susceptibility to the leader’s influence, and the methodology the new leader uses to influence. An assessment tool for post-transition leaders was developed to assist in informing executive-level leader’s change initiatives following a leadership succession.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Breckon, Denise, Wharff, Deborah
School: University of Maryland University College
Department: Management Program
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-A 78/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management
Keywords: Change, Executive succession, Executive-level turnover, Leadership transition, New leader assimilation, Organizational performance
Publication Number: 10275772
ISBN: 978-1-369-81059-2
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