CEO characteristics and their impact on organisational performance - Special Report - The Oxford Review - OR Briefings

CEO characteristics and their impact on organisational performance – Special Report

CEO background

Keywords: Leadership, management, CEO, CEO characteristic, CEO background, performance, organisational performance, leaders characteristics, leaders backgrounds, Chief Executive Officer


Live reportWhilst there is little doubt that organisational performance relies on a multitude of factors, one of the most prevalent are the characteristics of the organisation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). This has been a growing area of interest with an average of 6,000 published studies being conducted in 2009 with this average rising to over 11,000 a year since 2013.

As a result of this interest, and a direct request for more information from members, we have compiled a research briefing about the very latest findings about CEO characteristics and their impact on performance.


  • Introduction 4
  • Recruiting new CEOs 5
  • Educational background of CEOs 6
  • The impact of organisational ownership 7
  • The impact of entrepreneurial CEOs 8
  • International outlook 9
  • Use of social media by CEOs 9
  • CEO materialism 9
  • CEOs strategy capability 10
  • Humble CEOs with and without vision 11
  • Specialist v generalist CEOs 12
  • Dealing with uncertainty 13
  • Organisational ambidexterity 14
  • CEO familiarity bias in mergers and acquisitions 15
  • CEO psychological characteristics 16
    • The dark triad 16
      • Narcissism 16
      • Psychopathy 16
      • Machiavellianism 16
      • The impact of leaders/CEOs with dark triad tendencies 17
    • CEO personality traits associated with positive organisational performance 17
      • CEO agreeableness 17
      • Emotional stability 17
      • Conscientiousness 17
      • Openness to experience 17
      • Extraversion 17
      • Strategic change and CEO personality 18
      • Extraversion and the cost of capital and risk 18
  • Innovation and CEO characteristics 19
    • CEO risk aversion 19
    • CEO flexibility 19
    • CEO personality and innovation 19
    • CEO stability, optimism and resilience 20
  • Conclusion 21
  • References 22

Live report

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