Succession Planning in a Global Electronics Company

Andrew Cook, Walden University

Abstract

Leaders of U.S. companies are unprepared to address a shortage of qualified leaders caused by changing workforce demographics. Despite organizational leaders realizing the importance of talent management to company strategy, there still exists a gap in knowledge regarding its application in practice. The purpose of this case study was to explore what succession planning organizational leaders use to adequately replace departing leaders with qualified new leaders. The findings demonstrated support for Shields’ practical ideal type conceptual framework adapted to succession planning, which holds that succession planning requires various elements working together to achieve succession goals. Data were obtained through semistructured interviews of 5 organizational leaders who are responsible for succession planning at a global electronics company. Upon analysis of the semistructured interview data using triangulation with company succession planning matrix documents, 4 primary themes emerged: employee development activities that support effective succession planning; practices and processes critical for effective succession planning; the relationship between succession planning, talent management strategy, and organizational strategy; and barriers and challenges to effective succession planning. Recommendations from the study include developing effective ways to replace departing leaders by succession planning and considering investing in resources that focus on succession planning. The findings may lead to social change by providing employees with goals of achieving higher positions within their organizations, which may motivate employees to excel in their workplaces and contribute to their communities.