Where the Stars Still Shine: Some Effects of Star‐Performers‐Turned‐Managers on Organizational Performance

Jongsoo Kim, Richard Makadok*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Research Summary: Do former star performers become superior managers? If so, why? Using performance data from a professional sports league, this study finds that organizational performance is greater under star-performers-turned-managers (SPTMs) than other managers. We develop a typology of six causal mechanisms by which SPTMs might affect organizational performance, and we indirectly test for each of them using data from a professional sports league. Our results indicate that SPTMs outperform other managers, and that this benefit is due to their role modeling and their superior ability to train and incentivize subordinates.

    Managerial Summary: Organizations are often, but not always, led by managers who previously achieved outstanding performance in an individual contributor role. Do such star-performers-turned-managers (SPTMs) benefit an organization's performance more than other managers? If so, why? Our statistical analysis finds that National Basketball Association (NBA) teams managed by head coaches who had previously been All-Star NBA players win games more often than other NBA teams, and also that this effect is due to a combination of SPTMs serving as a role model for their players, as well as training and incentivizing their players better.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2629-2666
    Number of pages38
    JournalStrategic Management Journal
    Issue number12
    Early online date15 Mar 2022
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Business and International Management
    • Strategy and Management

    User-Defined Keywords

    • incentivizing
    • role modeling
    • strategic human capital
    • training
    • star-performer-turned-manager (SPTM)


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