Complexity, CEO Turnover and Firm Growth

Room 111 - University House
Thursday 6 February 2020 (13:00-14:30)

Department of Strategy and International Business Research Seminar
Speaker: Tomasz Mickiewicz (50th Anniversary Professor of Economics, Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham) 


We extend the Penrosean view on firm growth to posit that complexity acts as an important boundary condition under which CEO turnover affects short-term growth negatively. We propose complexity as an overarching heuristic concept. Bounded by cognitive constraints, new CEOs who face differing dimensions of complexity will require time to learn before they can adjust and implement growth strategies effectively. Utilizing a large sample of Russian firms, we identify and test the moderating effect of two major types of complexity: relational and environmental. We find negative short-term effects of CEO turnover in firms that have complex features, such as being part of business groups, having foreign ownership links (as opposed to direct private ownership), as well as those engaging in international trading.

The Speaker

Tomasz Mickiewicz is the 50th Anniversary Professor of Economics at the Aston Business School and an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London. He was previously Professor of Comparative Economics at University College. Earlier in his career, he served on the board of directors of a major privatized producer of herbs ‘Herbapol’, worked with OIC International on a business incubators programme and also spent some time in public administration as the deputy mayor of Lublin, responsible for economic matters.

His research focuses on the role of formal and informal institutions (including the issues of diversity and social capital) as factors affecting entrepreneurship, foreign direct investment, and performance. He has published in entrepreneurship and international business journals, including the Journal of Business Venturing, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Journal of World Business, and the Journal of Business Ethics. In December 2019, he became one of the editors of Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.