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Do humble CEOs matter? An examination of CEO humility and firm outcomes. (2015)

“CEO humility has important implications for firm processes and outcomes.”

Amy Y. Ou, National University of Singapore; David A. Waldman & Suzanne J. Peterson, Arizona State University.
Journal of Management, 0149206315604187

Responding to rising interest in CEO humility, the authors examine whether and how humble CEOs relate to firm outcomes in this study.

Building on upper echelons, power, and paradox theories, they hypothesize that when a more humble CEO leads a firm;

  • Its top management team (TMT) is more likely to collaborate, share information, jointly make decisions, and possess a shared vision
  • The there will be lower pay disparity between the CEO and the TMT
  • The CEO and TMT will be more likely to adopt an ambidextrous strategic orientation, which will be associated with stronger firm performance.

The hnypotheses were tested using both survey and archival data collected at multiple time points from 105 small-to-medium-sized firms in the US computer software and hardware industry.

Findings largely supported the theoretical assertions, suggesting that “CEO humility has important implications for firm processes and outcomes.”

Access the research article here: Do humble CEOs matter?

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