Session 336

CEO Roles, Frames, and Traits

Track O

Date: Monday, September 22, 2014


Time: 11:00 – 12:15

Common Ground

Room: Budapest


  • Parthiban David, American University

Title: CEO Emotionality and the Strategic Actions of Firms


  • Daniel Gamache, University of Georgia
  • Russell Johnson, Michigan State University
  • Gerry McNamara, Michigan State University

Abstract: Strategy research has long been interested in understanding the influence of CEOs' demographic and dispositional traits on firm actions. However, according to distal-proximal personality theories, proximal motivational constructs will have a stronger influence on action than more distal traits since they directly impact how people regulate their behavior. We test the effect of a key motivational construct, CEO emotionality, on two firm actions: strategic change and change in the scope (diversification) of the firm. Building on the broaden-and-build theory we develop hypotheses and find differential effects with positive emotionality being negatively related to strategic change but positively related to change in firm diversification. On the other hand, negative emotionality is positively related to strategic change and negatively related to change in firm diversification.

Title: Do CEOs Blush Sometimes? The Sensitivity of Top Executives to Moral Judgment


  • Georg Wernicke, Copenhagen Business School
  • Steffen Brenner, Copenhagen Business School

Abstract: Is embarrassment effective in imposing social norms on top executives? Drawing from social cognitive theory, social psychology, and personality research, we hypothesize that personality traits and the social context that affect the likelihood to experience embarrassment give rise to differences in the response to moral criticism. Using personality measures such as overt narcissism and measures for the social environment such as local social preferences and being a parent, we test the hypotheses on data about the responsiveness of U.S. CEOs to events of public criticism of their compensation levels. Public criticism is measured through negative press articles about the CEO's pay package.

Title: Exploring Variations in Cognitive Frames of CEOs and Board Members: A Multidimensional Perspective


  • Esther Solomon, Fordham University
  • Morten Huse, University of Witten Herdecke

Abstract: To better understand the cognitive frames of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) regarding boardroom dynamics as compared to those of Board members this research applied a multidimensional holistic perspective. Survey responses by 963 CEOs and 841 board members from Norwegian firms were analyzed and compared to test the structural hypotheses. Results revealed differences regarding the configuration of variables which includes CEO domination and board acquiescence to shareholders. This configuration reflected inconsistencies when comparing the perceptual structures of each group, and was associated with cognitive as opposed to emotional responses, occupying orthogonal axes in their respective multidimensional spaces. The remaining structure was invariant across the two samples. These differences in cognitive frames point to some sources of group fractioning in governing boards and offer insights potentially useful for overcoming boardroom inertia.

Title: Heavy Lies the Crown? Top Executive Anxiety and Strategic Decision-Making


  • Michael Mannor, University of Notre Dame
  • Viva Bartkus, University of Notre Dame

Abstract: How do top executives respond to anxiety? Abundant research in psychology has shown that anxiety can strongly influence individual cognition and behavior, which suggests that anxiety could affect how executives decide upon strategic courses of action. Integrating perspectives from strategy and cognitive psychology, we investigate how job-related anxiety in executives manifests in strategic decision-making. We hypothesize and find evidence that more anxious top executives tend to staff their management teams with more loyal subordinates, spend less time deliberating strategic alternatives, and pursue less risky strategies, and these effects become amplified in family businesses. To get into the “black box” of strategic decision-making we used a multisource, multimethod data collection approach that included self-report, team-report, other-report, and archival data from a sample of 94 top executives.

Title: Three Different People, Only One CEO


  • Alejandro Carrera, Austral University
  • Adrian Caldart, AESE School of Management and Business
  • Magdalena Cornejo, Austral University

Abstract: Using a unique database of 682 CEOs based in Latin America over the last six years, we studied what activities do CEOs deem conceptually important as part of their responsibilities differentiating the sample into three main groups: (a) CEOs which are owners of the company they manage, (b) CEOs managing a local company, but not owners and (c) country or regional managers from multinational companies. The analysis of the different ways they understand their job is important enough to be taken into account when trying to understand the performance characteristics of firms according to their origin and the type of leader that rules it.

Title: What I Like About You: Impact of CEO Personality on Analysts' Recommendations and Shareholder Returns


  • James Van Scotter II, University of Colorado

Abstract: Using a behavioral observation approach for assessing CEO personality traits displayed in publicly available video clips, I examine the impact of CEO likability, charisma, narcissism, and the big five on returns to shareholders and the favorability of analysts’ recommendations. The results suggest CEO personality traits do influence returns to shareholders and, even after controlling for personality, likability also influences returns to shareholders. Furthermore, likability mediates the relationship between charisma and analyst’s recommendations as well as the link between openness to experience and analyst recommendations. Results suggest assessing CEO personality using behavioral ratings based on observation of short video clips may be a viable option for overcoming the problem of CEO personality measurement. Also, the effect of CEO likability on firm level outcomes warrants further investigation.

All Sessions in Track O...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 311: The Power of Power: The Role of Power and Politics in Strategy Processes
Session 386: Entrepreneurial Corporate Governance
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 476: The Dark Side of Strategic Leadership and Governance
Sun: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 435: What Happens After the CEO Has (Been) Gone?
Sun: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 611: Strategic Leadership and Governance IG Business Meeting
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 335: Internationalization and Strategic Decisions
Session 458: Those at the Top Matter!
Mon: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 336: CEO Roles, Frames, and Traits
Mon: 14:45 – 16:00
Session 331: CEO Compensation: What we Know, What we Need to Study
Mon: 16:30 – 17:45
Session 337: Power at the Top - The Influence of Directors
Session 411: Ownership and Governance
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 428: Managing External Dependencies
Session 467: Putting Pressure on the CEO
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 465: The Importance of Corporate Governance
Tue: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 429: Director Selection and Influence
Tue: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 431: Agents, Principals, and Owners
Session 432: Upper Echelons Revisited

Strategic Management Society