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Managerial Legacies, Entrenchment, and Strategic Inertia


This paper argues that the legacy potential of a firm's strategy is an important determinant of CEO compensation, turnover, and strategy change. A legacy makes CEO replacement expensive, because firm performance can only partially be attributed to a newly employed manager. Boards may therefore optimally allow an incumbent to be entrenched. Moreover, when a firm changes strategy it is optimal to change the CEO, because the incumbent has a vested interest in seeing the new strategy fail. Even though CEOs have no specific skills in our model, legacy issues can explain the empirical association between CEO and strategy change. Copyright (c) 2010 the American Finance Association.

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Article provided by American Finance Association in its journal The Journal of Finance.

Volume (Year): 65 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 2403-2436

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:65:y:2010:i:6:p:2403-2436
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  1. Paul Oyer, 2004. "Why Do Firms Use Incentives That Have No Incentive Effects?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1619-1650, 08.
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2001. "Are Ceos Rewarded For Luck? The Ones Without Principals Are," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 901-932, August.
  3. Jaime Ortega, 2003. "Power in the Firm and Managerial Career Concerns," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 1-29, 03.
  4. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1990. "A Theory of Predation Based on Agency Problems in Financial Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 93-106, March.
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