“Ingratiation or Self-promotion: How newly appointed CEOs could use Social Influence Tactics to manage the Leadership Transition Process” by Miss Xiwei YI
Miss Xiwei YI
PhD Candidate in Strategy
Department of Strategic Management
Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business
This study examines the effect of newly appointed CEOs using social influence tactics, specifically ingratiation and self-promotion, to manage challenges in the leadership transition process. I identify two challenging scenarios that increase newly appointed CEOs early dismissal rate: (1) when the predecessor CEO is retained as the board chair without announcing a departure plan, and (2) when a negative stock market reaction occurs upon the appointment of the new CEO. I propose that the newly appointed CEO‘s ingratiation (to the predecessor CEO), which is defined as submissive behavior to improve one‘s interpersonal attractiveness through pleasing others, mitigates the effect of the retained predecessor CEO on the new CEO‘s early dismissal rate by enhancing the latter‘s social approval based on interpersonal liking. In addition, the newly appointed CEO‘s use of self-promotion, defined as an attempt to create an image of competence, alleviates the influence of negative stock market reaction on the new CEO‘s early dismissal rate by enhancing the new CEO‘s social approval based on the attribution of competence. Collecting data on newly appointed CEOs‘ opening speeches and interaction with stock analysts in their early tenure-earnings conference call transcripts, I use a computer-aided content analysis to create proxies for newly appointed CEOs‘ use of ingratiation and self-promotion. The empirical results show strong support for my theoretical model.