, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 361-382
Date: 08 Oct 2011

An agency-based perspective on the performance consequences of COO adoption

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The aim of this study is to explain the performance consequences of the adoption of a Chief Operating Officer (COO) position by drawing from agency theory. Although, prior research has documented a performance penalty associated with the use of this position, we currently have an incomplete understanding of the factors explaining this penalty. This study suggests that the delegation of CEO decision rights to the COO is explained by information transfer and agency considerations. Largely consistent with agency theory, our empirical analysis suggests information transfer considerations are related to the likelihood of COO adoption, while CEO ownership and board characteristics mitigate the related performance penalty.