Today’s organizations are faced with many multifaceted executive leadership challenges. These include competing in a more globalized work world, combating breaches in ethical and moral decision-making, retaining and developing talent, and leading within a more diversified structure. Furthermore, organizations realize that to maneuver these turbulent, deep, and unknown waters, they must have an experienced and qualified captain at the helm. Yet, the process of succession planning can create a situation that is tricky, extremely expensive, and disruptive, particularly in terms of performance and morale (Charan, 2004, 1994). Charan and Colvin (1999) as well as Conger and Nadler (2004) suggest that the problem is not in the plan itself, but in the execution of the plan. Execution problems may exist as a result of our underestimation of the importance of organizational culture and the role of members, top management, the incumbent, and the board (Cannella Jr & Lubatkin, 1993; Denis, Langley, & Pineault, 2000; Kets de Vries, 1988; Schein, 1992).
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