CEOs want to set themselves apart: Image crucial for strategic changes

In large organizations, the appointment of new CEOs is often accompanied by a change in strategy. Prof. Dr. Hutzschenreuter from the Technical University of Munich has investigated how strong these changes are and made an exciting discovery:
CEOs change course when they resemble their predecessors.
This is the result of a study of strategy changes in DAX, MDAX and TecDAX companies from 1985 to 2007, which found that corporate strategy was changed significantly especially when a successor differs little from his predecessor in biographical terms.

This finding shows that an independent image is an important driving force behind decision-making. “Since no one in this position wants to be considered interchangeable, the need to distinguish oneself through one’s own actions arises,” says Hutzschenreuter.
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Source: TU Munich, available at:

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