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Darla Moore School of Business

Research and Resources

The Moore School created the Center for Executive Succession to leverage the world-class faculty research capability and a unique corporate/academic partnership to provide cutting-edge research in the issues, challenges and best practices regarding C-suite succession.

Current Research Projects


Building the Executive Leadership Team

This study examines the practices of building a new executive leadership team when a new CEO and/or C-suite executive is placed. The transition process is extremely important, yet there are few processes established to help effectively accelerate executive team development. Our research team is in the process of interviewing current and former CEOs, members of the Board of Directors and CHROs to capture and consider every vantage point. If you have this level of experience with building the ELT and would like to be part of the interview process, please contact us at

Splitting Governance: Succession Planning Differences between Independent Board Chairs and Dual CEO/Chairs

This study focuses on differences in the effectiveness of succession planning activities performed across companies with different board governance structures, with a primary focus on the differences between companies who have an independent board chair vs. those with a non-independent (CEO or Executive) chair and a lead director. The goal of the project is to identify if different board governance structures influence the effectiveness of succession planning activities conducted by the board and management.

HR Experience on Boards and CEO Succession Planning Processes

In this study, we are focused on how experience in HR among board members influences the board's engagement with CEO succession planning and the effectiveness of such efforts. We also examine whether the existence of HR expertise among board members enhances the effectiveness and attentional engagement of other directors on the board, particularly those who have been CEOs of other companies in the past.  

CEO Parenthood Status and Employee Commitment to the Organization

The pandemic has exacerbated challenges faced by working parents, particularly straining many working mothers. At the same time, building diverse talent pipelines has taken center stage. In this study, we explore two aspects of organizations and their ability to retain and attract employees. First, we conducted a pilot study examining whether working mothers, in particular, have their impressions of their employer positively influenced based on the parenthood status of the CEO. Initial results suggest that working mothers and women who would like to become mothers perceive their employer more favorably when the employer has a woman CEO with children. In a follow up, we are leveraging data on CEO parenthood status and Glassdoor reviews to determine whether employees more positively rate their companies depending on the parenthood status of the CEO.

Executive Leadership Team Turnover and Company Performance

In this study, we are building a database of executive leadership team turnover over a 10-year period. The end goal is to illustrate how a focus on the turnover of a wider group of top executives than often discussed (typically the Named Executive Officers in the proxy statement) influences future organizational performance. In particular, we will explore how the quantity and timing of turnover might have differential impacts of subsequent performance. 

2021 HR@Moore Survey of Chief HR Officers 

The 2021 HR@Moore Survey of Chief HR Officers explored aspects of CEO succession, CEO generativity, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and executive compensation related to say-on-pay voting. Three reports will stem from the 2021 survey:

CEO Generativity and CEO Succession Planning

In this study, we will focus on how a CEO’s generativity, a personality trait related to concern for future generations, influences the quantity and effectiveness of succession planning processes that companies are engaged in. Further, we will explore how boards can assist in succession planning depending on the level of generativity a CEO exhibits.

COVID’s Effects on Organizational Succession Planning

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on talent management. Many employees are still working from home while companies simultaneously fight to attract, develop, and retain employees. In this study, we will examine how the pandemic has influenced talent development and succession planning within organizations, including whether succession events have been accelerated, delayed, or stayed on course, and whether the pandemic has impacted groups of employees in different ways.

Organizational Approaches to Say-on-Pay Votes

Say-on-pay votes can have significant influences on executive compensation packages and receive considerable media, shareholder, and third-party watchdog agency attention. In this study, we plan to explore how companies respond to say-on-pay votes, including tactics relating to altering compensation packages, composition of compensation committees, and other activities designed to ensure positive say-on-pay votes are received or negative votes are appropriately attended to for the future.

2022 HR@Moore Survey of Chief HR Officers  

This year's HR@Moore Survey of Chief HR Officers will be open in mid-March.

Please contact if interested in participating in our research.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.