Two heads are safer than one: Changes in CEO duality and venture failure

Ryan Krause, Rene M. Bakker, Joris Knoben*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)


We study the dynamics of a major design choice in the governance of ventures: whether to distribute power at the top of the venture between a separate CEO and board chair. We propose that ventures are more likely to combine (separate) their CEO and chair positions when operational performance is poor (strong), demonstrating behavior in line with the threat rigidity thesis. Paradoxically, however, ventures would most benefit from a separate CEO and board chair when operational performance is poor. Empirical analysis of data from the Australian mining industry offers general support for our theory, with some interesting nuances. We discuss the implications of our findings for emerging conversations in the literatures on venture boards, boards of directors, and entrepreneurship.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102218
JournalLong Range Planning
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

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