What Explains Agency Heads’ Length of Tenure? Testing Managerial Background, Performance, and Political Environment Effects for Different Forms of Exit

34 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2014 Last revised: 13 Jun 2016

See all articles by Nicolai Petrovsky

Nicolai Petrovsky

University of Kentucky - James W. Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Oliver James

University of Exeter - Department of Politics

Alice Moseley

University of Exeter

George Boyne

Cardiff University - Cardiff Business School

Date Written: June 11, 2016

Abstract

Influences on agency heads’ length of tenure depend on the way in which tenure ends, distinguished by moving to elsewhere in the public sector; the private sector; or retiring. We estimate survival models of agency heads’ tenure using panel data on British central government executive agencies from 1989-2012. Our findings suggest that chief executives of poorly performing agencies are encouraged to retire sooner. We find no evidence of change in political control increasing risk of any form of exit, suggesting that political pressure to leave is not substantial for this type of official. Outsiders (agency heads recruited from outside central government) are relatively difficult to retain for a longer time, such that potential shortfalls in suitable managers caused by retirements in an aging workforce may be difficult to make up by appointing from this source.

Keywords: agency head length of tenure, senior public managers, retention, public organizations

Suggested Citation

Petrovsky, Nicolai and James, Oliver and Moseley, Alice and Boyne, George, What Explains Agency Heads’ Length of Tenure? Testing Managerial Background, Performance, and Political Environment Effects for Different Forms of Exit (June 11, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2480077 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2480077

Nicolai Petrovsky (Contact Author)

University of Kentucky - James W. Martin School of Public Policy and Administration ( email )

Lexington, KY 40506
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.petrovsky.ws/

Oliver James

University of Exeter - Department of Politics ( email )

Northcote House
The Queen's Drive
Exeter, Devon EX4 4QJ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.huss.ex.ac.uk/politics/staff/james/index.php

Alice Moseley

University of Exeter ( email )

Northcote House
The Queen's Drive
Exeter, Devon EX4 4QJ
United Kingdom

George Boyne

Cardiff University - Cardiff Business School ( email )

Aberconway Building
Colum Drive
Cardiff, CF10 3EU
United Kingdom
+ 44 (0) 29 20 875572 (Phone)
+ 44 (0)29 20874419 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cf.ac.uk/carbs/hrm/boyne.html

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