Non-CEO executive mobility: The impact of poor firm performance and TMT attention

T.P.L. Buyl, Christophe Boone, James B. Wade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


We present a comprehensive and integrative study of non-CEO executive mobility, proposing two complementary approaches: (1) mobility as a reactive process, driven by poor organizational performance (the dominant approach in prior literature) and (2) mobility as a proactive process, reflecting incumbent
TMTs’ patterns of (exploratory and exploitative) attention. Using a sample of 1168 observations proceeding from 197 US organizations (2000–2011), we empirically validate that non-CEO executives’ exit and inflow is driven by poor organizational performance, and that CEO replacement mediates this
effect (i.e., the so-called ‘sweep-out effect’). Furthermore, the probability of non-CEO executive inflow is higher when the incumbent TMT has a high level of exploratory attention and lower when there is a high level of exploitative attention. These ‘proactive’ effects occur over and above the ‘reactive’ processes of poor organizational performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-267
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Management Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


  • Non-CEO executive mobility
  • TMT exploratory attention
  • TMT exploitative attention
  • Organizational performance


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