Leadership changes and approaches during company turnaround

Conor O'Kane*, James Cunningham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the effect of leadership changes on (1) the initiation of organizational turnarounds, (2) turnaround performance, and (3) the leadership approaches adopted. Set in an Irish context, we use four in-depth case studies purposefully selected at different stages of the turnaround process. In our findings we describe under what circumstances chief executive officer (CEO) changes are likely; the importance of humility, trust, and integrity to turnaround leadership; and why certain companies might purposefully delay the implementation of CEO changes. In addition, we found that newly appointed outsider CEOs and insider leaders who are not replaced are differentiated in the manner by which they manage expectations and implement retrenchment-oriented moves at the outset of the turnaround process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-85
Number of pages34
JournalInternational Studies of Management and Organization
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


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