Has the "cEO effect" increased in recent decades? A new explanation for the great rise in America's attention to corporate leaders

Timothy J. Quigley, Donald C. Hambrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations

Abstract

We introduce a new explanation for one of the most pronounced phenomena on the American business landscape in recent decades: a dramatic increase in attributions of CEO significance. Specifically, we test the possibility that America's CEOs became seen as increasingly significant because they were, in fact, increasingly significant. Employing variance partitioning methodologies on data spanning 60 years and more than 18,000 firm-years, we find that the proportion of variance in performance explained by individual CEOs, or "the CEO effect," increased substantially over the decades of study. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of this finding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-830
Number of pages10
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Volume36
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management

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