Independent Director Death and CEO Acquisitiveness: Build an Empire or Pursue a Quiet Life?
Strategic Management Journal, Forthcoming
23 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2014 Last revised: 26 Feb 2016
Date Written: November 17, 2014
This study examines the relationship between an independent director’s death and CEO acquisitiveness. Using a sample of large U.S. public firms, we find that CEOs who have experienced an independent director’s death undertake fewer acquisitions in the post-director death period, in particular fewer large acquisitions. Our findings are consistent with the prediction of posttraumatic growth theory that mortality awareness can induce CEOs to reevaluate their life priorities and reduce the importance of extrinsic goals in their decision making. This study contributes to the strategic leadership literature by highlighting the influence of the death of CEOs’ social peers on CEOs’ strategic decisions.
Keywords: Strategic leadership; mergers and acquisitions; CEOs; board of directors; social peers
JEL Classification: G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation