Leader succession: does gender matter?

David Dawley (College of Business and Economics, University of West Virginia, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA)
James J. Hoffman (Area of Management, College of Business, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA)
Alfred Redie Smith (Department of Business and Economics, Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Publication date: 1 December 2004


Leader succession is a traumatic event in any organization and unfortunately the list of successor candidates rarely includes women. In order to extend current knowledge regarding leader succession, this study examines the effect of leader successor gender on post‐succession performance. Juxtaposes theories regarding gender stereotypes, organization leadership, and leadership succession. Hypotheses are tested using a sample from one of few forums that yields a sufficient mix of male and female leaders – US NCAA Division I women's head basketball coaches. Results suggest neither gender outperforms the other. More importantly, finds that gender successor origin moderates the relationship between the gender of the successor and short‐term organizational performance.



Dawley, D., Hoffman, J. and Redie Smith, A. (2004), "Leader succession: does gender matter?", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 25 No. 8, pp. 678-690. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437730410565004

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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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