Why do some insider CEOs make more strategic changes than others? The impact of prior board experience on new CEO insiderness

Qi Zhu, Songcui Hu, Wei Shen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This study draws attention to the impact of prior board experiences on the variation in new insider CEOs' degree of “insiderness” in terms of commitment to the status quo and their propensity to make strategic change. We theorize and find that new insider CEOs' prior board experience at the focal firm has a negative effect on strategic change, whereas their prior board experience at other firms has a positive effect. Moreover, the positive effect of prior board experience at other firms is stronger (weaker) for new insider CEOs who have less (more) prior board experience at the focal firm. Our study contributes to upper echelons theory and research on new CEOs, and has important implications for organizational practices regarding CEO succession and strategic change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1933-1951
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
Event79th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management - Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Duration: 9 Aug 201913 Aug 2019


  • board of directors
  • CEO succession
  • learning
  • strategic change
  • upper echelons theory

Cite this