Gender-inclusive gatekeeping: How (mostly male) predecessors influence the success of female CEOs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Male-typed leadership schemas have been widely acknowledged as barriers to women's success in leadership roles. We explore how local organizational agents and contexts enable women leaders to overcome these barriers and achieve success at the highest levels in firms. Specifically, we focus on chief executive officer (CEO) succession events and study how several facets of predecessor CEOs and the succession context combine to influence incoming women's post-succession performance. We conduct a qualitative comparative case study of all CEO successions that involved female successors between 1989 and 2009 across the largest corporations in the United States. Our findings suggest that women's success occurred when a confluence of local firm-level factors and attributes of the (mostly) male predecessors promoted gender-inclusive gatekeeping during succession. Our qualitative comparative analysis approach reveal three recipes for female success: “handing over the legacy,” “partnering the legacy,” and “turning around the legacy.” Moreover, a comparison to a matched-sample of men CEO succession events shows that these three recipes for success are unique to women. Based upon our findings, we propose that male predecessors' gender-inclusive gatekeeping facilitates female leaders' success and occurs when local enabling conditions and the embedded context enact agentic and structural mechanisms to alter leadership schemas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-404
Number of pages26
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Volume61
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

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Industry
Gatekeeping
Chief executive officer
Qualitative comparative analysis
Partnering
Factors
Comparative case study
Leadership roles

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

Cite this

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Gender-inclusive gatekeeping : How (mostly male) predecessors influence the success of female CEOs. / Dwivedi, Priyanka; Joshi, Aparna Anand; Misangyi, Vilmos Fosnocht.

In: Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 61, No. 2, 01.04.2018, p. 379-404.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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