Research papers on succession processes in sports organisations have usually shown contradictory results. Several factors can explain the different effects on performance after changes, so the purpose of this paper is to obtain a better understanding of coach changes and their impacts on short-term performance. For this purpose, we use ordinary least squares (with Stata) to analyse panel data from a longitudinal sample of 15 years (from the 1997–1998 season to the 2011–2012 season) of Spanish professional basketball organisations, examining all changes in head coaches that occurred during the teams’ competitive seasons using the variables of coach experience or human capital changes within the organisation after the change of coach to determine the repercussions of these changes on performance. The results, with p < .05, support two hypotheses: H2, the possibility of short-term improved performance in organisations after a coach change; and H3, if a coach change is accompanied by more profound changes in human capital (players) the result is worse performance. These results are not contradictory because they indicate that it is possible to recover performance in the short term, but if managers make too many changes at the same time, the team cannot coordinate itself to recover its performance. For organisations, this observation is important because organisations can change key leaders when performance is low but must consider that a large number of simultaneous changes are overly risky because this increases instability and disruption.
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