IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Leadership Turnover among University Presidents


  • Heinke Roebken

    () (University of Oldenburg)


This study examines leadership succession among university presidents. Strategy researchers have emphasized that changing leaders is an important organizational decision which is likely to affect the strategic direction of the organization (e.g. Hambrick/Fukutomi 1991). Using longitudinal data on German university presidents and rectors, three issues are addressed: (1) Presidential tenure is related to selected organizational features. One characteristic to which particular importance is attributed in the succession literature is organizational size. This study analyzes on an organizational level how the office tenure of current university presidents and rectors relates to university size. (2) On the level of the overall university system, a longitudinal study is conducted in order to determine how the average tenure of German university presidents changed between 1960 and 2000. Five different methods for measuring presidential tenure are developed and compared. The results indicate a decrease in presidential tenure since the early 1990s. (3) In order to analyze potential determinants of the decreasing time in office, correlation analyses are conducted. The results suggest that public funding for teaching and increasing pressures for reforms are significantly related to presidential time in office. Resource endowments for research are not related to presidential tenure. Finally, the implications of the decreasing office tenure for managing organizational change in universities are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Heinke Roebken, 2007. "Leadership Turnover among University Presidents," management revue. Socio-economic Studies, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 18(2), pages 138-152.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:mamere:doi_10.1688/1861-9908_mrev_2007_02_roebken

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Leadership Turnover; Succession; Presidential Tenure; University Presidents; Organizational Change;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
    • M10 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rai:mamere:doi_10.1688/1861-9908_mrev_2007_02_roebken. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Rainer Hampp). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.