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Exploring the Characteristics of the Founder and CEO Succession as Causes of Corporate Longevity: Findings from Korean Long-Lived Companies

Dong-Sung Cho, Se-Yeon Ahn


What are the common characteristics of the founder and CEO succession process at long-lived companies? And how do these characteristics help companies survive long periods of time? This inductive study of 26 Korean long-lived companies led to propositions exploring these questions. Long-lived companies had long-tenured founders, less frequent successions, high ratio of insider succession and a formal succession process to secure management stability and competitiveness. It was also observed that the founding vision had an emphasis on corporate social responsibilities and that founding philosophy has succeeded to current management philosophy in most long-lived companies. The study results imply that the heritage of founding stages may play a crucial role for companies to achieve future longevity.


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