Our study examines the relationship among successor characteristics, post-succession firm change in the degree of internationalization, and firm performance. We use the upper echelon, organization change, and contingency perspectives to frame our conceptual arguments. Based on data from 187 succession observations for listed companies in Taiwan between 2000 and 2005, we find that firms will opt for higher levels of change in their degree of internationalization when they experience outside succession and that the negative impact of change in the degree of firm internationalization on subsequent firm performance is relatively low. We extend the industrial environment, explaining the moderating effect of CEO succession on change in the international strategy model. Outsider successors foster a greater degree of change in the level of firm internationalization when the industrial environment is munificent or complex.
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