• CEO succession and the CEO's commitment to the status quo

      Behr, Henning; Fehre, Kerstin (Business Research, 2019)
      Chief executive officer (CEO) commitment to the status quo (CSQ) is expected to play an important role in any firm’s strategic adaptation. CSQ is used often as an explanation for strategic change occurring after CEO succession: new CEOs are expected to reveal a lower CSQ than established CEOs. Although widely accepted in the literature, this relationship remains imputed but unobserved. We address this research gap and analyze whether new CEOs reveal lower CSQ than established CEOs. By analyzing the letters to the shareholders of German HDAX firms, we find empirical support for our hypothesis of a lower CSQ of newly appointed CEOs compared to established CEOs. However, our detailed analyses provide a differentiated picture. We find support for a lower CSQ of successors after a forced CEO turnover compared to successors after a voluntary turnover, which indicates an influence of the mandate for change on the CEO’s CSQ. However, against the widespread assumption, we do not find support for a lower CSQ of outside successors compared to inside successors, which calls for deeper analyses of the insiderness of new CEOs. Further, our supplementary analyses propose a revised tenure effect: the widely assumed relationship of an increase in CSQ when CEO tenure increases might be driven mainly by the event of CEO succession and may not universally and continuously increase over time, pointing to a “window of opportunity” to initiate strategic change shortly after the succession event. By analyzing the relationship between CEO succession and CEO CSQ, our results contribute to the CSQ literature and provide fruitful impulses for the CEO succession literature.
    • Challenging corporate commitment to CSR: Do CEOs keep talking about corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues in times of the global financial crisis?

      Fehre, Kerstin; Weber, Florian (Management Research Review, 2016)
      Purpose In times of crisis, the fundamental principles of companies erode, leading to strategy shifts. This paper aims to examine whether corporate social responsibility (CSR) is on management’s agenda in times of crisis, indicating CSR embeddedness into corporate strategy. The focus is on the four pillars of CSR: social, environment, economy and governance. Design/methodology/approach Starting points are competing hypotheses based on shareholder and stakeholder theory. Chief executive officer (CEO) letters to shareholders of German HDAX firms from 2003 to 2012 are analyzed by means of computer-aided text analysis. Findings The authors find that CEOs talk less about CSR in times of crisis, especially about social and governance issues, indicating that CSR is not fully embedded into corporate strategy, and that, in times of crisis, other aspects gain more importance on management’s agenda.
    • Controlling für innovative junge Unternehmen

      Brettel, Malte; Fehre, Kerstin; Heinemann, Florian (Controlling & Management, 2007)
      Der vorliegende Artikel liegt im Forschungsdefizit des „Entrepreneurial Controllings“, d. h. dem Controlling in innovativen jungen Unternehmen begründet. Dieses Forschungsdefizit manifestiert sich neben einer bisher geringen Anzahl an Forschungsarbeiten vornehmlich in offenen forschungstheoretischen Fragen. Unbeantwortet blieben bisher insbesondere die zwei elementaren Fragestellungen nach den controllingrelevanten Merkmalen und infolgedessen nach den Anforderungen an ein Controlling in innovativen jungen Unternehmen. Diesem Forschungsdefizit steht ein hoher Praxisbedarf gegenüber: ein fehlendes Controlling in innovativen jungen Unternehmen zählt zu den Hauptursachen ihres Scheiterns. Unter Anwendung des Rationalitätssicherungsansatzes leistet der vorliegende Artikel einen wesentlichen Beitrag zur Beantwortung dieser Fragestellungen und zur Schließung der Forschungslücke im „Entrepreneurial Controlling“. Hierzu werden zunächst die Besonderheiten innovativer junger Unternehmen...
    • Förderung von Frauen in Führungspositionen: Bezugsrahmen und empirische Analyse der unternehmerischen Maßnahmen

      Fehre, Kerstin; Lindstädt, Hagen; Picard, Alexander (Schmalenbachs Zeitschrift für betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung, 2014)
      Der Beitrag untersucht den Umsetzungsgrad von Maβnahmen zur Förderung von Frauen in Führungspositionen. Mittels einer Umfrage unter den CDA X-Unternehmen sowie kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen (KMU) wird eine Bestandsaufnahme angewendeter Maβnahmen erarbeitet und weiterer Handlungsbedarf identifiziert. Dies stellt die bisher gröβte empirische Untersuchung dieser Art in Deutschland dar. Der Beitrag zeigt, dass Unternehmen mit einer vergleichsweise hohen Repräsentanz von Frauen in Führungspositionen einige der Maβnahmen verstärkt umsetzen, diese jedoch über die gesamte Stichprobe eher unterdurchschnittlich häufig angewendet werden. Es hat sich auf Maβnahmenseite bisher kein Standard etabliert; ein hoher Frauenanteil in Führungspositionen scheint derzeit noch das Ergebnis unternehmensindividueller Gegebenheiten zu sein.
    • Lost in transaction? The transfer effect of strategic consistency

      Fehre, Kerstin; Kronenwett, Daniel; Lindstädt, Hagen; Wolff, Michael (Business Research, 2016)
      Prior empirical studies provide evidence that the learning-curve perspective from manufacturing settings is not directly applicable to strategic management settings. In the latter case learning relates to the quality rather than to the quantity of experience. Regarding the antecedents of organizational learning especially, there are still unanswered questions remaining; for example, the questions what kind of experience has a positive effect on performance and what kind of experience is more of a hindrance than a help. This becomes obvious when looking at acquisitions as examples of strategic management decisions. Results of prior empirical studies analyzing the relationship of acquisition experience and acquisition performance have been mixed. By introducing the concept of strategic consistency, we intend to facilitate a better understanding of the kind of experience necessary for organizational learning. Therefore, we measure the concordance and frequency of change in strategic actions. Employing a sample of 379 acquisition series, we find evidence for a positive transfer effect of strategic consistency within series and, therefore, a positive relationship between strategic consistency and acquisition performance.
    • Same same, but different: Eine Analyse des Humankapitals weiblicher und männlicher Aufsichtsräte in Deutschland

      Fehre, Kerstin; Spiegelhalder, Rebecca (Schmalenbachs Zeitschrift für betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung, 2017)
      Der Beitrag untersucht die Frage, ob sich Frauen und Männer im Aufsichtsrat in ihrem Humankapital unterscheiden und somit durch Geschlechterdiversität die Voraussetzung für Wissens- und Fähigkeitenvielfalt gegeben ist. Hierzu wurden die Lebensläufe von 264 Frauen und Männern in Aufsichtsräten der HDAX- und SDAX-Unternehmen analysiert. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass Frauen und Männer im Aufsichtsrat Unterschiede in Bezug auf ihre Studienabschlüsse, ihre Berufserfahrung, die Anzahl weiterer Aufsichtsratsmandate, die Art der Berufung, ihre Auslandserfahrung und die Anzahl ihrer Kinder aufweisen. Keine Unterschiede konnten hinsichtlich der Zugehörigkeit zur Eigentümerfamilie nachgewiesen werden. Daraus lässt sich schlussfolgern, dass Frauen im Aufsichtsrat das Ressourcenbündel an Fähigkeiten und Wissen erweitern. Mit diesem Ergebnis leistet die Studie einen wichtigen Beitrag zur Corporate Governance Forschung. Ferner leistet die Studie einen Beitrag zur Humankapitaltheorie, indem bislang vernachlässigte Humankapitalkriterien untersucht werden und schafft eine Basis für fundierte Diskussionen zum Thema Frauen in Führungspositionen.
    • The Disappearing ‘Deutschland AG’ – An analysis of blockholdings in German large caps

      Fehre, Kerstin; Rapp, Marc-Steffen; Schwetzler, Bernhard; Sperrling, Marco (Problems and Perspectives in Management, 2011)
      The German corporate governance system changed substantially over the last ten years. Meanwhile, ownership structures of German firms changed significantly. The paper examines the phenomenon of changing ownership structures by studying blockholdings of German large caps between 1997 and 2006. It examines the dynamics of blockholdings by analyzing the evolution of free float and block trades, where at least 5% of voting rights change hands. Two findings emerge. First, the authors find that free float increases from 65% in 1997 to 75% in 2006, mainly caused by German financials and German government entities. Simultaneously, they observe a surprisingly high number of block trades: on average 1.6 block trades per firm from 1997 to 2006. Second, the authors find that particularly individuals and German industrials are guarantors for a stable ownership structure. German financials or German government entities as blockowners increase the free float and the likelihood of block trades. Moreover, block trades are more likely to occur in firms having foreign investors as owners. The findings are of interest with respect to the evolution of the so-called ‘Deutschland AG’ but also with respect to the current anchor shareholder discussion.
    • Why some are more equal: Family firm heterogeneity and the effect on management’s attention to CSR

      Fehre, Kerstin; Weber, Florian (Business Ethics - A European Review, 2019)
      Research at the family firm–Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) nexus lacks agreement about whether family firms are more or less socially responsible than their non‐family counterparts, which leads discussion relating to the bright and dark side of socioemotional wealth (SEW). We add to this ongoing debate in two different ways. First, we build on family firm heterogeneity and argue for a gray side to SEW, located between the bright and dark sides that is dependent upon the kind of family firm ownership. Second, we assume that prior research on a diverse set of CSR behaviors may, to some extent, explain the contradicting results; thus, we propose going back a step and focusing on management’s attention to CSR as an important antecedent of CSR behavior. By analyzing the letters to the shareholders of German HDAX firms from 2003 to 2012, this study finds that family ownership positively affects management’s attention to CSR, mainly driven by founders and family foundations. The research adds to our understanding of the family firm–CSR nexus by scrutinizing the role SEW plays in management’s attention to CSR when it comes to family firm heterogeneity.