The Impact of Tenure on Chief Executive Officer Role Perceptions and Time Spent in Roles

Margaret B. Glick


This paper presents research on the impact of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) tenure, or time worked as a CEO, on the CEO’s perception of their role. For purposes of this paper tenure refers to the amount of time the CEO has spent working as a CEO. Tenure was broken into four major categories: 0 to 10 years; 11 to 20 years; 21 to 30 years; and over 31 years spent as a CEO. In terms of role agreement results indicate a statistically significant difference in agreement with the strategic role category for CEOs with over 31 years of tenure. These CEOs do not agree as strongly with their counterparts that this is a CEO’s role. In terms of time spent in the role categories there are statistically significant differences in CEOs with over 31 years of tenure and their counterparts in how they estimate they spend their time. Further research is necessary to understand the reasons behind these quantitative results.

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