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Chairman and chief executive officer (CEO): that sacred and secret relationship

Andrew Kakabadse (Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield, UK)
Nada K. Kakabadse (Northampton Business School, University College Northampton, Northampton, UK)
Ruth Barratt (Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield, UK)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 1 February 2006




To examine an under‐researched area, namely the dynamics of chairman‐CEO interrelationship and its effect on the enterprise.


A qualitative methodology has been adopted through in‐depth interviews with chairmen, CEOs and non‐executive directors on the nature of chairman‐CEO interactions and their effects.


Four critical themes form the basis of this paper, chairman's role and contribution, nature of chairman‐CEO relationship, impact of the chairman‐CEO relationship on board effectiveness and the attributes of an effective chairman.

Practical implications

Enhances understanding of the determining influence of the chairman‐CEO dyad on board and organisational performance and also on the influence of formative context on this dyadic interaction.


One of the few studies that has explored through in‐depth interviews the chairman‐CEO relationship.



Kakabadse, A., Kakabadse, N.K. and Barratt, R. (2006), "Chairman and chief executive officer (CEO): that sacred and secret relationship", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 134-150.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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