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Is “transgenerational response” a hidden cause of failed corporate turnarounds and chronic underperformance?

John Oliver (Bournemouth University, Poole, UK)

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 15 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

CEO turnover and chronic corporate underperformance are examined through the lens of Transgenerational Response.

Design/methodology/approach

The criteria for investigating Transgenerational Response in corporations consisted of identifying a Critical Corporate Incident, the number of corporate generations and the resultant corporate financial performance.

Findings

The evidence presented in the case studies illustrates how a Critical Corporate Incident has produced the consequential effect of chronic financial performance in the years following the incident.

Research limitations/implications

These case studies have not presented the “actual” adaptive responses, inherited attitudes and behaviours that have subsequently embedded themselves in a new corporate culture, post the Critical Corporate Incident, to the detriment of the long-term health and performance of each firm.

Practical implications

Examining CEO turnover and chronic corporate underperformance through the lens of Transgenerational Response means that business leaders can identify how a historic event has affected the performance of their firm in subsequent generations. With this knowledge in hand, they will be able to examine the inherited attitudes and behaviours, organizational policies, strategy and adaptive cultural routines that have combined to consolidate the firms chronic under performance.

Originality/value

This is a highly original, evidence based, idea that has the potential to reshape our current understanding of CEO turnover and underperforming firms. It will help business leaders identify how a historic event has affected the performance of a firm in subsequent generations.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Martin Reeves, Senior Partner, Boston Consulting Group and Director, BCG Henderson Institute, supplied critical feedback during the development of this article.

Citation

Oliver, J. (2017), "Is “transgenerational response” a hidden cause of failed corporate turnarounds and chronic underperformance?", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 45 No. 3, pp. 23-29. https://doi.org/10.1108/SL-01-2017-0006

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited