Date of Award

Summer 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration-Management

Committee Director

William Q. Judge

Committee Member

Jing Zhang

Committee Member

Ryan L. Klinger

Committee Member

Mohammad Najand


This is a two essay dissertation which explores how founder and non-founder CEOs influence the IPO process and seeks to better understand their impact on IPO performance in a cross-national set of firms. Essay 1 addresses the question ‘how founder and non-founder CEOs’ narratives are portrayed differently in business media.’ Using insights from the narrative paradigm and utilizing qualitative content analysis for 1,057 units of data, I find that founders and non-founders’ media narratives differ in three important ways based on the amount of personal information about founders, how founders talk about their business operations, and positive and negative name association.

Essay 2 addresses the related question of ‘how does national context influence the relationship between founder CEO presence and IPO long-run performance across multiple nations?’ Using insights from upper echelon theory and utilizing hierarchical linear modeling to analyze over 1,000 firms, I find that founder CEOs perform best in IPO firms in a national context where managerial discretion is low, uncertainty avoidance is high, and fewer firms have founders as CEO.


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