The purpose of this paper is to conceptualise how the chief executive officer (CEO) and chairperson of the board (Chair) construct their relationship through their leadership practices, and to analyse the meaning of these practices to the relationship. An empirical investigation from both partners’ viewpoint is conducted.
The data were gathered through in-depth interviews with 16 CEOs and 16 chairpersons from the same companies. Content analysis was used to analyse the data.
Four types of leadership practices in the CEO-Chair relationship were conceptualised: emergent practices on company- and person-related issues, and scheduled practices on company- and person-related issues. For the effectiveness of the relationship, emergent practices on company-related issues seem to be most important.
The basing of the analysis on interviewees’ descriptions rather than on the observation of leadership practices in action can be considered a limitation.
Knowledge of leadership practices in the CEO-Chair relationship and their meaning to the relationship can be utilised in leadership training.
This research contributes to the relational leadership literature by highlighting a specific leadership relationship, the CEO-Chair relationship, from both partners’ viewpoint. Additionally, the value of the study is that it shows that the CEO-Chair relationship is more multifaceted than traditionally assumed in prior literature.
This research has received funding from the following foundations: Erkki Paasikivi Foundation, Finnish Cultural Foundation (Central Fund), Foundation for Economic Education, Jyväskylän Kauppalaiseuran Säätiö, Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation and the Dr H.C. Marcus Wallenberg Foundation for Promoting Research in Business Administration.
Koskinen, S. and Anna-Maija, L. (2016), "The CEO-Chair relationship from a relational leadership perspective", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 37 No. 8, pp. 1135-1146. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-07-2015-0158Download as .RIS
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