Do not change horses: specialist CEOs enhance innovation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This study examines the relation between specialist Chief Executive Officers(CEOs) and their firms’ future performance, particularly regarding innovation. While human capital theory predicts that firms should innovate better when their CEOs possess more human capital, this relationship has been hard to measure empirically. As a result, little is known about the role of individual CEOs on innovation performance. Using a unique dataset on CEO human capital characteristics for S&P 1500 firms between 1993 and 2010, we examine whether specialist CEOs with strong firm-specific human capital have a significant long-term influence on firm innovation. Our findings support the idea that specialist CEOs promote both a higher magnitude of innovation and higher quality innovation for their current firms. The evidence indicates that the specificity of CEO human capital matters in the context of innovation as a long-term firm outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)875-887
Number of pages13
JournalTechnology Analysis and Strategic Management
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 3 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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