When a key responsibility of a manager is to allocate more or less attractive tasks to subordinates, these subordinates have an incentive to work hard and demonstrate their talents. As a new manager is less well acquainted with these talents this incentive mechanism is reinvigorated after a management change - but only when the team is sufficiently homogenous. Otherwise, a new manager quickly makes similar choices as the old one did. We investigate this hypothesis using a large data set on coach dismissals in the German football league where the selection of players is indeed a key task of the coach. Indeed, we find substantial evidence that coach replacements enhance team performance (only) in homogenous teams. Moreover, from a methodological point of view, we argue that there is typically a negative selection bias when evaluating succession effects, which might reconcile previous findings of no (or even negative) effects with the vast number of dismissals observed in reality.
managerial succession teams heterogeneity tournaments