Follow the Leader? Leader Succession and Staff Attitudes in Public Sector Organizations.
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Scientific articles 
Original versionPublic Admin Rev, 2020, 80: 555-564 10.1111/puar.13189
Public sector organizations face regular turnover in top leadership positions. Yet little is known about how such changes affect staff attitudes. The authors argue that top leader succession may influence staff attitudes, particularly when new leaders are “outsiders” and/or subordinates interact regularly with their leaders. Using a unique two-wave survey conducted within the European Commission in 2008 and 2014, this analysis tests these propositions by studying the same individuals before and after shifts in top political (commissioner) and administrative (director-general) positions. The study shows that leadership succession can trigger meaningful shifts in subordinates' stated attitudes regarding the European Commission's supranational identity. These findings are important because staff attitudes about organizational values and aims represent a key driver of individual and organizational performance.