Spring 4-21-2024

ESRP 9000 Professor

Daniel Turner, EdD

ESRP 9001 Professor

Daniel Turner, EdD

Executive Summary

This strategic research project was designed to determine the need to implement an executive succession planning strategy for a global organization that private investors purchased. Succession planning is a strategic effort by an organization to determine the next generation of leaders when vacancies occur. Succession planning can aid an organization in leadership continuity, sustainability, and the delivery of future business results. This project conducted a strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-threats (SWOT) analysis and review of the internal and external factors impacting an organization under the pseudonym of Tradition. The SWOT analysis revealed that the most critical issue facing Tradition was the need for a formal executive succession planning strategy due to the complexity of the company's industry and a high number of senior leaders at or approaching retirement age. Four possible solutions were presented to address the problem. After evaluating the possible solutions, the need to establish an executive succession planning strategy was the selected option. Two options for implementing the executive succession plan strategy were evaluated through a quantitative strategic plan matrix (QSPM). As new ownership and Tradition's board of directors have yet to show consistent alignment and with questions of organizational autonomy, a strategy labeled control what can be controlled was selected to be implemented. A formal action on implementing this strategy was outlined, including a discussion on the barriers the plan would face and the support the plan would need for success. Finally, this was presented for peer review and faculty for an oral defense in which selected questions on the project were answered.

Throughout this project, the literature reviewed revealed strong support for succession planning and the positive organizational impacts such a program could provide. Large or complex organizations, such as Tradition, would particularly see value in succession planning. However, continued organizational support, commitment, and leadership will be required for this strategy and program to be successful. Additionally, it is acknowledged that there is literature arguing that some organizations, particularly smaller companies, may not require formal succession plans, and the company's long-term business results would be positively impacted if a suitable successor is eventually appointed. This project and paper conclude with a discussion of future areas of consideration and supplemental programs, such as cultural differences training, needed to ensure a successful executive succession planning program for the selected global organization.

Document Type

Strategic Research Project-NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Organizational Leadership



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