Leader succession and organizational performance: Integrating the common-sense, ritual scapegoating, and vicious-circle succession theories

W. Glenn Rowe, Albert A. Cannella, Debra Rankin, Doug Gorman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

76 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Our study examines the impact of leader succession on organizational performance. We use organizational learning theory and the concept of time compression diseconomies to frame our conceptual arguments. Previous sports-related studies have concluded that between-season succession (ritual scapegoating theory) does not impact team performance, and within-season succession (vicious-circle theory) tends to worsen team performance. We confirm these conclusions. We also argue that it takes time for a new team leader to "take charge", and the taking charge process requires that the team and new leader experience regular-season play together in addition to off-season practice to improve performance in the subsequent season (common-sense theory). Evidence from a 60-year data set from the National Hockey League provides support for our hypotheses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-219
Number of pages23
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2005

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Scapegoating
Ceremonial Behavior
religious behavior
leader
performance
Hockey
learning organization
learning theory
Sports
Common sense
Organizational performance
Learning
evidence
experience

Keywords

  • Common-sense theory
  • Leader succession
  • Ritual scapegoating theory
  • Vicious-circle theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Leader succession and organizational performance : Integrating the common-sense, ritual scapegoating, and vicious-circle succession theories. / Rowe, W. Glenn; Cannella, Albert A.; Rankin, Debra; Gorman, Doug.

In: Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 16, No. 2, 04.2005, p. 197-219.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rowe, W. Glenn ; Cannella, Albert A. ; Rankin, Debra ; Gorman, Doug. / Leader succession and organizational performance : Integrating the common-sense, ritual scapegoating, and vicious-circle succession theories. In: Leadership Quarterly. 2005 ; Vol. 16, No. 2. pp. 197-219.
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