Founder CEO Succession: The Role of CEO Organizational Identification

October 2018 | Boivie, Steve

Drawing from the organizational identification literature, we theorize that founder CEO succession decisions are dependent on the strength of these CEOs’ organizational identification with their firms. Our theoretical premise is that factors that decrease founder CEOs’ organizational identification—prior entrepreneurial experience and a number of cofounders—will positively affect their succession. Conversely, factors that increase founder CEOs’ organizational identification—length of time their organization was a private firm and core founder status—will negatively affect their succession. We find strong support for our arguments in the context of IPO firms during the 2000–2013 period. Our findings enable us to illustrate that founder CEOs’ succession decisions may be better understood by considering factors that may influence their psychological traits rather than focusing only on their performance and control.



  • J Lee
  • D Yoon


Academy of Management Journal

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