CEOs who have COOs: Contingency analysis of an unexplored structural form

Donald C. Hambrick, Albert A. Cannella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations

Abstract

We use contingency theory to examine, for the first time, the incidence and effectiveness of CEO/COO duos. We argue that industry dynamism, extraordinary organizational task demands, and the CEO 's own professional limitations will influence the decision to have a COO, as well as its effect on performance. Based on a large 10-year sample, we find some support for the contingency view in explaining the presence of COOs; we particularly find that CEOs who lack experience in operational activities and in managing the focal firm are relatively likely to have COOs. We find, however, essentially no support for the contingency view in explaining when COOs are most beneficial. Instead, we find strong evidence of a very substantial negative main effect: CEOs who have COOs deliver lower organizational performance than those who do not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-979
Number of pages21
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Volume25
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2004

Keywords

  • Chief executives
  • Contingency theory
  • Upper echelons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management

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