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IACMR Research Seminar Series Session #4


Power of Love: Intimate Relationships of Top Executives and Firm Performance


Prof. Xu Huang , Hong Kong Baptist University

9:00-10:15am (Beijing Time), Wednesday, September 23

Please click here to register for the seminar.


Power not only corrupts but also induces paradoxical behaviors of powerholders. In this seminar, I will present the results of three projects, in which we investigated how top executives’ intimate relationships with their family members and romantic partners shape their leadership behaviors and firm performance. In Project 1 (i.e., a recently published paper), we theorized and demonstrated how business owners exhibited paradoxically coercive control over their child-successors during power transitions in family organizations. In Project 2 (i.e., a paper under review in a journal), we examined the impact of “political marriage”, defined as a marital relationship between a son/daughter of the family business owner and a daughter/son of a politician, on firm performance. Using data from 164 family firms in China, we found that political marriage benefits family firms the most when the duration of political marriage is long and the degree of romantic love of the married couple is low (rather than high). In the Project 3 (i.e. an ongoing project), using data from S&P 1,500, we tested the idea that married CEOs are more likely to drive their firms to have better CSR performance; and a high level of power possessed by CEOs is likely to corrupt the beneficial effects of CEO’s marital status.


Xu Huang

Professor Huang received his Ph.D. from the University of Groningen (the Netherlands), MA from Lancaster University (UK), and Honors Diploma from Lingnan University (Hong Kong). Currently, he is the Associate Dean of the School of Business, and the Head of the Department of Management, Hong Kong Baptist University. He is also the Director of the MBA program and MSc Business Management Program of the School of Business. Since 2010, he has served as an Adjunct Professor in the Centre for Work, Organization and Wellbeing, Griffith University. He has also been appointed as a Visiting Chair Professor in Shanghai University of Finance and Economics since 2012. He is Deputy Editor of the Management and Organization Review, and a member of editorial board for Academy of Management Journal and Human Relations. Professor Huang is now serving as an Independent Director of the board of Giodano International Limited.

Professor Huang’s research interests include leadership, power, proactive and abnormal work behaviors, employee well-being, cross-cultural psychology, and management issues in China. He has published more than 70 papers in international journals including Administrative Science QuarterlyAcademy of Management JournalJournal of Applied PsychologyJournal of International Business StudiesPersonnel PsychologyJournal of ManagementManagement and Organization ReviewJournal of Organizational BehaviorJournal of Organizational and Occupational PsychologyHuman RelationsLeadership Quarterly, and so forth.